Friday, July 23, 2021
HomeEditorialAbhinandan Varthaman: Brave IAF’s missing Wing Commander

Abhinandan Varthaman: Brave IAF’s missing Wing Commander

Abhinandan Varthaman, an Indian Air Force fighter pilot who is the son of a retired Air Marshal, was flying a MiG 21 Bison jet that was shot down by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) with the pilot taken into custody. Soon after his detention, Pakistan has put out a video claiming that two IAF pilots have been captured by them. Pakistan’s Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, “Two Indian pilots were taken into custody and they are being treated well: one is injured and is being provided proper medical care.” Although the Pakistani military spokesman later confirmed that the Pakistan Army has only one Indian pilot in custody. However, the reality was very different and disturbing; he was badly dragged, wounded and beaten brutally by Pakistani forces. Radio Pakistan released a shocking video showing Wing Commander Abhinandan who declines to reveal more than his name, service number, profession, and religion. He was seen speaking to captors with amazing composure. He told them who he was, gave them his service number, and identified himself as a Hindu. When a gruff demand for more details followed — “What else?” — Wing Commander Varthaman replied coolly: “I’m sorry sir, that’s all I’m supposed to tell you.” Though his politeness was not reciprocated, no clear answer was offered when he made his own request for information, again with remarkable composure: “Am I with the Pakistani Army?” and the video ends there. In the video, Abhinandan has sustained facial injuries, was blindfolded, is dressed in a flight suit, and is seen being questioned by the Pakistan Army officials. The videographer circles around the captured pilot and shows that he is completely tied up and cannot move.

After an hour or so, the second video went viral on social media, where he was dragged and beaten brutally by the Pakistan Army men. His face was bleeding and his eyes were closed. My blood was boiling and I was very much disturbed, I won’t be able to express. However, looking at this entire scenario, I can say that the BJP government is gradually losing the war plot as well as the plot for the 2019 general elections. One after another, countless Jawans are subjected to brutality and nothing is really done to protect their lives. India and Pakistan are on edge after Indian Mirage 2000 fighters pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan, 12 days after the terrorist group killed 40 Indian soldiers in a suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir. India has long accused Pakistan of abetting cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and had vowed to avenge the bombing on February 14. It announced that a large number of terrorists were killed in a pre-emptive, non-military strike in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistan and Indian Air Forces had not engaged since the 1971 war. The surge in hostilities — the worst in decades — has come within a fortnight of Pulwama attack. There were damages on both sides. India has shot down Imran Khan’s repeated offers for dialogue, arguing that talks and terror can’t go hand in hand. A chunk of the International community has joined its voice to New Delhi’s repeated demand that Pakistan cleans out the terror bases operating from its soil. Pakistan has so far denied that it had any links to any of the terror attacks in India. After the terror attack at the Pathankot air base two years ago — also conducted by Jaish — it had rejected the evidence submitted by India. After the February 14 Pulwama attack, Pakistan asked for evidence of the involvement of Jaish-e Mohammad.

Since BJP and Modi came to power, Pakistan committed more than 5,000 ceasefire violations at the Line of Control and the International Border — a whopping 1,000 per cent increase compared to the last the UPA government. Pulwama was the 18th major terror attack under the Modi government. Every day India’s jawans are being killed on the borders facing terrorists coming from Pakistan or in skirmishes and attacks that happened unprovoked from the Pakistan Army, yet the government remains a mere spectator. Every time, after an attack they engage their spokespersons and social media army to justify these attacks. More than 500 jawans have been martyred in Jammu and Kashmir alone, while 280 civilians have died in Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks. Yet, unfortunately, the Prime Minister has more faith in the dreaded ISI which is the benefactor, protector, and harbinger of terrorism and invites them to investigate the Pathankot air base attack. Pulwama terror attack was a bigger attack than Uri. This horrific attack was a testimony to the Modi government’s utter failure on national security. Zero political action and Zero policy to tackle terror have led to an alarming security situation. BJP ruled J&K for four years. BJP rules J&K via Governor’s rule. BJP plunged J&K into deep mayhem. If the Modi government fails to bring back Abhinandan, it would be proven as the most “weak” government in the history of India which has utterly failed in defending India’s borders and in checking terrorism coming from Pakistan. The tragic part is that the Home Minister of the country is most ill-informed and that is the reason why terrorist outfits including the ISI and the Pakistan Army continue to act unabated.

Narendra Modi government’s failure to stop the killing of soldiers in skirmishes on the country’s borders is very much evident. Dubbing the talk of normalcy returning to Jammu and Kashmir as “false”; when Pakistan was involved in the ceasefire violations and killing of Indian soldiers, the Prime Minister and the entire cabinet was busy in the election campaign and even during the Pulwama attack, PM Modi was busy in inaugural function and election rally. The BJP government is as filmy as the films are made on their actions; hope, at least at this hour, our PM realises his duty and recollects his elections speeches, gives a befitting reply to Pakistan, and most importantly brings back Wing Commander Abinandan Varthaman safely.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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