NEW DELHI :
Punjab chief minister and senior Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh will be part of the team to receive Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Indian Air Force, who will be released on Friday by Pakistan. The move signals a political consensus over the issue.
According to people aware of the developments, officials from the chief minister’s office are still working on his schedule till late Thursday evening. Varthaman is likely to cross over to India through the Attari-Wagah border in Punjab, they added.
“Yes, he (the chief minister) is going to be there. We do not have any more details at this stage, but it is being worked out," one person aware of developments said, requesting anonymity.
“Dear @narendramodi ji , I’m touring the border areas of Punjab & I’m presently in Amritsar. Came to know that @pid_gov has decided to release #AbhinandanVarthaman from Wagha. It will be an honour for me to go and receive him, as he and his father are alumnus of the NDA as I am," the chief minister wrote on Twitter.
While the opposition has backed the security forces and the government in anti-terror operations, Captain has been one of the most vocal voices in condemning Pakistan’s actions.
The Punjab CM, who served in the Indian Army, lauded the actions of the security forces after the recent air strikes in response to the Pulwama terror attack. Captain has also been closely working with the security forces and was visiting border areas over the past two days. On Wednesday, he visited Jalandhar for assessing the situation at the border, while on Thursday, he interacted with defence personnel at the first line of defence in Tarn Taran district. He also met the father of CRPF martyr Sukhjinder Singh, who lost his life in the Pulwama blast.