In a message aired on Pakistani television channels, Varthaman was seen in his green flight suit saying he was rescued by two Pakistani military personnel when he ejected and found himself in Pakistani controlled Kashmir surrounded by a small mob of seemingly angry residents. And I would like to put this on record that I will not change my statement if I go back to my country also.
Varthaman was accompanied to the border Friday by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The handover took several hours, delayed because of procedures including a quick check of his medical condition before he was turned over to Indian officials.
Well-wishers had gathered along the road on the Indian side of the border, but with the delay, most had left when Varthaman finally crossed over around 9 p.m.
But while the tension has eased to some degree, with many foreign nations including the USA stepping in to urge calm and push for dialogue, the two long-time foes' military forces have continued to exchange fire, mostly shelling, along the disputed border in the Kashmir region.
On Tuesday, India carried out air strikes on what it said was a militant camp in Pakistan in retaliation for a suicide bombing that killed at least 40 Indian troops in Indian-administered Kashmir on 14 February.
Clad in his uniform, the IAF officer further claimed in the video statement that he was in search of a target when his fighter jet was hit by Pakistan Air Force.
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He has been the top Twitter trend in India since Thursday afternoon, when Pakistan announced his imminent release.
Activists of Indian National Congress demand a safe return of the air force Pilot Abhinandan Vardaman.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthamanhas been shown on TV, looking bruised and confused.
The agency said in a statement that all domestic and worldwide flights would resume to and from the cities of Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta. It divided the Indian subcontinent into a predominantly Hindu India and mostly Muslim Pakistan.
The pilot was shot down over Kashmir on Wednesday, after a dogfight in the skies over the disputed Himalayan region that sent tensions between the two countries to their highest levels in years.
In response to a question about next possible steps towards de-escalation, the speakers said that restrictions on the individuals demanded by India and meeting some of the requirements of demarche shared by New Delhi could allow Indian political leadership to save face before its voters and de-escalate.
BJP president Amit Shah also expressed relief over the return of a person who, over the last two days, had acquired the status of a hero across the country.
India and Pakistan - both nuclear powers - claim all of Kashmir, but each controls only parts of it. They have fought three wars, two directly over the disputed region.