The Hush Post | 8:37 pm | Two-minute read
The whole nation is waiting with a bated breath for the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman from Pakistan’s captivity. While he returns on Friday, the episode also refreshes the memories of IAF pilot Kambampati Nachiketa.
Pakistan had captured K Nachiketa during the Kargil war in 1999. Then a flight lieutenant he had also landed in the enemy’s territory after his MiG-27 developed a technical snag. Pakistani forces held him as a POW for eight days before releasing him.
Nachiketa has written to Wing Commander Abhinandan praying for his safe return. Expressing his concern he said to NDTV, “Wing Commander Abhinandan has been made a pow in a hostile situation in the line of his duty and as per the Geneva Conventions to which both India and Pakistan are signatories. He should be treated appropriately as an officer and sent back to India”.
“Abhinandan is a brave and courageous pilot with high professional ethos befitting a IAF air warrior and we all are proud of him,” he added.
K Nachiketa also shared his experience when he was in Pakistani custody. “The torture was very bad. That time I felt that it was easier to die. The last part of torture is the Third-Degree. Luckily, I didn’t face that.”
During the Kargil war, Nachiketa was to target a Pakistani post at 17000 ft. He reached there and dropped a bomb. However, his MiG 27 caught fire and he had to eject the jet and landed amidst Pakistani forces.
Pakistan handed over Nachiketa to India via the Red Cross. The then President KR Narayanan and PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee showered praises on him on his return.
K Nachiket works as a Group Captain for a private airline now. After the Kargil war he was unable to fly a fighter jet as he had injured his back badly in the incident.