Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan in 2019 after his MiG 21 Bison aircraft was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jet, and later returned to India — was awarded India’s third-highest gallantry medal on Monday, reports Asian News International (ANI).

According to the report, the citation for the award stated: “Wing Commander Abhinandan showed conspicuous courage, demonstrated gallantry in the face of the enemy while disregarding personal safety and displayed [an] exceptional sense of duty.”

Pakistani Twitterati reacted to the news of Pak-fame Abhinandan and yet again reminded the world of his famous dialogue,  ‘Tea is fantastic’.


Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Vice President Sherry Rehman tweeted, “Is this for real? Award for drinking tea in Pakistani custody ?”

Journalist Abbas Nasir tweeted, “India edges past us in the race for being the most delusional country in the Subcon.”

Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera tweeted, “Feel so sorry for the poor bloke!!!”

Journalist Fereeha Idrees commented, “Bollywood fantasyland taken next level. Indian Air force is awarding their man for getting shot in air by Pakistani pilots and then landing in Pakistan while thinking he was in India.”

Abdullah Saad tweeted, “Not the first time that an IAF officer was given Vir Chakra for a fictitious kill.”

A Twitter user wrote, “Never ever feeling guilty or ashamed about receiving credit for work I didn’t do.”

Abhinandan was arrested on Feb 27, 2019, after his aircraft was shot down by the PAF upon violating Pakistani airspace.

He was initially captured by locals in Azad Kashmir before being taken into custody by Pakistan Army personnel.