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Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh who had on Thursday offered to receive Abhinandan at the Wagah border chose not to, so as to "ensure that the defence protocol is not violated in any way".

Thousands of people waited for hours at Attari-Wagah border to greet the IAF officer.

Abhinanadan is likely to be handed over to the Indian authorities at Wagah border on Friday afternoon.

The closure of Pakistan's airspace in response to escalating tensions with India disrupted major routes between Europe and South East Asia. It was not clear when he recorded this statement, but it clearly happened while he was in the custody of the Pakistan military.

Varthaman was asked where in India he is from and about his personal life. The move lowered immediate tensions between the arch-rivals. The closures snarled air traffic.

They fought a third war in 1979 over East Pakistan, which gained independence with the help of India and became Bangladesh.

Indians have watched every twist and turn in Varthaman's saga this week.

"The Pakistani army is a very professional service", he said.

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"We have captured a pilot of India". Pakistani army captains saved from the people and did not let any harm come to me. Spoken like a "true soldier", his father Simhakutty Varthaman said in a statement.

Indian aggression and the befitting response from the armed forces dominated the House proceedings on Friday. The cabinet welcomed the decision to release Abhinandan, the captured Indian pilot. Legislators from both sides of the political divide were all praise for the civil and military leadership for proper handling of the issue that also got admiration from the world community.

Media captionFootage appears to show wreckage from a downed Indian jet What happened to the pilot? The hosts asked the guests what the main prerequisite was to be a fighter pilot.

Abdul Majeed, 40, said he was one of a number of villagers who had beaten and thrown stones at the pilot. India said earlier that Pakistani fire killed two siblings and their mother on its side.

Social media has been abuzz with #GivebackAbhinandan and #Abhinandanmyhero hashtags elevating the pilot to national hero status. Pakistani citizens joined the chorus asking their government to return Varthaman as a gesture of peace.

India reportedly wants to keep Abhinandan's return free of ceremony.

However, there is no official confirmation about the development. The Maharaja of Kashmir, the local ruler, acceded to India as tribal fighters from Pakistan launched attacks.

Islamabad closed its air space on Wednesday after saying that Pakistan's military shot down two Indian warplanes and captured the Indian pilot. Nachiketa said he was tortured during his eight days of captivity, after which he was released. But diplomatic relations between the two countries remain strained.


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