First reactions from Indian politicians and public figures over release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman announced by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday.
I'm very happy, I had demanded his release earlier too. This is going to be a step towards goodwill and I hope this will be lasting.
-- Captain Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister
The decision to hand over Wing Commander Abhinandan is a great gesture & shouldnt be seen in isolation. It also comes at a time when Pak could've chosen to further escalate an already tensed situation. I see it as a mark of reconciliation. Our leadership should reciprocate.
-- Mehbooba Mufti, People's Democratic Party chief
Along with his family members and all our countrymen, we are anxiously waiting for the safe return of our pilot #Abhinandhan.
-- Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM
Indian IAF Fighter Pilot #Abhinandan held captive comes back home tom. (cheers) for India’s firm stand and international glare.
-- Kiran Bedi, Puducherry governor
Very glad to know that #WingCommandarAbhinandan will be heading home. I'll wait for him to be back on Indian soil before I welcome him back but I’m greatly relieved that PM @ImranKhanPTI has announced the imminent release of our pilot.
-- Omar Abdullah, National Conference chief
It is the best news for his family and everyone in India. We are very proud of him and our security forces. Peace is significant and very important.
-- Robert Vadra, businessman