Parents to welcome IAF officer

Parents to welcome IAF officer

Air Marshal (retd) S Varthaman father of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman leave for Delhi airport from his residence, in Chennai, on Thursday. PTI

The parents of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman left for New Delhi on Thursday night to welcome their son on Friday when he is expected to be released by Pakistan from its custody.

Abdhinandan’s father, Air Marshal (retired) S Varthaman, his mother Shoba and other relatives left Chennai for New Delhi by a flight late on Thursday night. Sources said the Wing Commander’s parents will receive him at whichever place the Pakistan government hands him over to India.

As soon as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Abhinandan will be released on Friday, celebrations broke outside the complex where the IAF officer’s parents live in Chennai. People distributed sweets among themselves and celebrated the announcement.

In the morning, the retired Air Marshal said he was proud of his son who was a “true soldier.” “Thank you, my friends, for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely...a true soldier...we are so proud of him.

“I am sure all your hands and blessings are on his head, prayers for his safe return, I pray that he does not get tortured, and comes home safe and sound in body and mind. Thank you all for being with us in this hour of need. We draw our strengths from your support and energy,” he said in a message.

Abhinandhan is a third-generation officer from a family whose members have served in the Indian Armed Forces for long. Abhinandhan’s family hails from Tirupanamoor village in Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu.