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IAF pilot likely to return via Wagah border today, Amarinder Singh offers to receive him

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New Delhi, Mar 1: With Pakistan all set to hand over Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman from its captivity on Friday, the officer is likely to be brought back to India through the Wagah -Attari joint check-post on Friday.

IAF pilot likely to return via Wagah border today, Amarinder Singh offers to receive him

[How IAF shot down Pakistan's F-16 in an aerial dogfight ]

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has appealed to the Modi government that he would like to receive Abhinandan upon his return at the 'Wagah border'.

"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.

The IAF officer was captured on Wednesday after his MiG-21 Bison fighter jet was hit during an air combat with Pakistan Air Force jets near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and he landed on the other side of the LoC.

Earlier, CM Amarinder Singh welcomed Imran Khan's announcement on the release of the IAF pilot, terming it a goodwill gesture that would help ease the prevailing tensions at the border.

[Signalling peace with India, Imran Khan says IAF pilot will be released tomorrow]

During his tour of the Tarn Taran region to assess the ground situation, the CM interacted with residents of at least 15 border area villages, including Shaheed Baba Tara Singh Wala, Rajoke, Kalia Shatara, Dholan, Lakhna and Kals. During his interaction with the residents, he urged them to remain calm and not to be swayed by rumours.

Amarinder also interacted with BSF personnel at the Khalra observation post during his visit to boost the confidence among locals amid tension between India and Pakistan.

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