Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan’s heroics have not only made him an icon in India but also in Pakistan where he’s being presented as a friend. A photo of a Pakistani tea stall with Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s image on its banner has gone viral. What’s interesting is that on the banner, Abhinandan can be seen sipping tea in a bold and confident manner with an Urdu text at the bottom that says, “Aisi chai ki dushman ko bhi dost banaye” which translated, means: Tea so fine that it can make a friend out of a foe.
Wing Commander Abhinandan returned to India after spending at least 60 hours in Pakistan’s captivity after his Mig-21 Bison crash-landed across the Line of Control (LoC). Abhinandan was chasing an F-16 of Pakistan after it tried to intrude the Indian airspace in the early hours of February 27. During the chase, Abhinandan shot down the Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 but had to himself eject from his plane that had taken a hit.
India Air Force had carried out air strikes in Pakistan across Jaish-e-Mohammed’s camps in response to the dastardly Pulwama attacks in which 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives on February 14. IAF’s Mirage 2000 crossed the LoC and struck the JeM camps deep inside Pakistani territory, till Balakot.