BJP president Amit Shah said today that creating a situation for the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman from Pakistan was a diplomatic victory, ahead of the expected arrival of the captured pilot.
Wing Commander Varthaman's MiG-21 was hit and he ejected from the aircraft after bringing down one Pakistani F-16 fighter during a dogfight to repel a Pakistani attack on Wednesday morning. He has been in Pakistan since then, and is returning this evening.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his countries parliament last evening that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman would be released today as a "peace gesture".
Speaking at the India Today Conclave, Amir Shah said, "Creating situation for return of pilot Abhinandan in such a short span of time is our diplomatic victory".
Tensions between the two nations escalated after Pak-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, killing over 40 soldiers.
Indian fighters jets bombed and destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest terror camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan earlier this week.
A team of Indian Air Force officials will receive Wing Commander Abhinandan at the Attari-Wagah border this evening.
"We are happy that our pilot who had fallen across the Line of Control and was in the custody of Pakistan is being released. We are extremely happy to have him back. We only see it as a gesture which is in consonance with the Geneva Conventions," Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, the assistant chief of Air Staff, told a news conference on Thursday.