Why Pakistan's Army chief Bajwa was 'shaking' at meet on Abhinandan?

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Abhinandan Vathaman
Abhinandan Vathaman

New Delhi : Retired Air chief Marshal BS Dhanoa has said that Pakistan was left with no choice but to release India's Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, days after his MiG-21 was downed in a dogfight in February last year.

The comments came after a Pakistani politician asked why Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was "shaking and perspiring" during a meeting to discuss Wing Commander Varthaman's capture.

A dogfight between India and Pakistan had broken out less than 24 hours after Indian jets bombed a camp of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan's Balakot, in response to Jaish's suicide attack on a convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama that left 40 soldiers dead.

"Me and Abhinandan's father go back a very long time. We did the flying instructor's course together... When Abhinandan got captured... my flight commander Ahuja in Kargil war, he got captured and was shot on the ground, so that was playing in my mind. I told him, 'Sir, I know we couldn't get Ahuja back, but we will definitely get Abhinandan back'," Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa told news agency ANI.

In a speech in the National Assembly, Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Ayaz Sadiq said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had in an important meeting said if Pakistan did not release Wing Commander Varthaman, India would attack Pakistan "that night by 9 pm." "I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which (Prime Minister) Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was perspiring. Foreign Minister said for god's sake let Abhinandan go, India's about to attack Pakistan at 9 pm," Mr Sadiq recounted the events of the meeting.

After his return from Pakistan, Abhinandan Varthaman joined back the battalion after a recovery time of about six months.