**New Delhi: ** Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and several Union ministers including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday welcomed Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman soon after he returned via Wagha border to India.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders took to Twitter to welcome him and hailed his courage and valour.
“Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage. Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians. Vande Mataram!” tweeted Modi.
Shah said: “Dear Wing Commander Abhinandan, entire nation is proud of your courage and valour. India is glad to have you back.
“May you continue to serve the nation and IAF with unparalleled passion and dedication. Best wishes for your bright future.”
Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, captured by Pakistanis two days ago after his MiG-21 crashed in Pakistani territory, returned to India on Friday night.
“Welcome Home! The entire Nation is proud of Wing Commander Abhinandan,” Rajnath Singh said.
“Proud of you Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The entire nation appreciates your valour and grit. You held your calm in the face of adversity. You are an inspiration to our youth. Salute. Vande Mataram. Jai Hind,” Sitharaman said.
Union Minister Smriti Irani said: “Salute to India as Abhinandan returns to home.”
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Ram Vilas Paswan and other leaders also expressed their happiness over his return.