India Pilot Abhinandan Varthaman Seeks to Get Back Into Action ASAP – Report

The pilot underwent an obligatory medical checkup, after which he will provide a full debriefing to his superiors on the incident.
Indian military officials claim that pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, recently released from Pakistani custody, says he wants to return to flying again as soon as possible, a report by The Times of India says.

“The efforts have been to ensure that he returns to the cockpit soon,” a military official told reporters.

Varthaman is currently undergoing medical procedures by a group of doctors at the Army’s Research and Referral hospital, the report says.

The pilot arrived to a hero’s welcome in New Delhi aboard an Air Force flight near Friday midnight, and was first taken to Air Force Central Medical Establishment and later transferred to the Army Research and Referral hospital.

On Saturday, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa met Varthaman separately. 

Later reports said Varthaman complained he suffered “mental harassment” during his captivity, although his Pakistani captors reportedly did not inflict physical harm on the pilot.

“The officer was in a stressful condition for about 60 hours. Also, his back is hurt due to the ejection from the aircraft. He also had to run with his injured back after he landed in PoK,” a military official told reporters after the minister and air chief marshal visits, according to New Indian Express.

After his mandatory medical checkup ends on Sunday, Varthaman will deliver a full debriefing to his superiors about the incidents, media reports say.

During the incident over Kashmir earlier this week, Varthaman reportedly destroyed one Pakistani F-16 fighter jet while piloting his MiG-21. The other pilot did not survive the dogfight. The Indian pilot then ejected after his own plane was taken down. He drifted into Pakistani territory, where he was captured. Varthaman was released by Pakistani authorities two days later as a gesture of good will aimed at de-escalating tensions over the contested Kashmiri region.


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