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Indian pilot Abhinandan to go on ‘sick leave’ indian media report

KARACHI/NEW DELHI: The debriefing of Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was handed over by Pakistan to his homeland on March 1 as a “gesture of peace” towards New Delhi, is complete, Indian media reported.

Abhinandan, who was captured by Pakistan on February 27 when his MiG-21 warplane was shot down by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) after they ventured into the Pakistani airspace, is set to go on sick leave for a few weeks’ time, according to NDTV, which quoted news agency ANI and sources in the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The 35-year-old Abhinandan’s release via the Wagah border crossing was an effort on Pakistan’s part to de-escalate the rising tensions between the two countries, especially after the terrorist attack in Pulwama that left some 40 Indian soldiers dead.

Further, “a decision on when Wing Commander Abhinandan can resume his operations as a fighter pilot will be taken by a medical board in [the] near future,” NDTV added, quoting the sources.

“The doctors at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital have advised the Indian Air Force Pilot to go on a leave after the debriefing,” the publication noted.

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