MUMBAI: The father of Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, captured by Pakistan after air combat, on Thursday said he was proud of his son's bravery and hoped for his safe return home, as he thanked citizens for their support and good wishes.
Air Marshal (retd) S Varthaman said in a statement his son talked (in purported videos circulating on social media) like a "true soldier" despite being in captivity and that he was praying he would not get tortured in the neighbouring country and return home "safe and sound".
Pakistan held Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Wednesday after fighter jets of both nations engaged in an air battle following an unsuccessful attempt to target Indian military installations in retaliatory strikes.
"Thank you my friends for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely a true soldier. We are so proud of him," his father said.
"I am sure all your hands and blessings are on his head, prayers for his safe return. I pray that he does not get tortured and comes home safe and sound in body and mind," the veteran IAF personnel further said.
He thanked citizens for being with the family in this hour of need.
"We draw our strengths from your support and energy," he added.