Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman
A photograph of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthamana, who is in Pakistan's custody, released by Pakistan's DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor. [Representational Image]:@OfficialDGISPR/Twitter

The father of captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is praying for his safe return back to his homeland without any torture.

Air Marshal S Varthaman, who last served as Eastern Air Command chief, said that he is proud of his son, who was captured by Pakistani forces on Wednesday.

In his message, the IAF Wing Commander's father said: "Thank you, my friends, for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely...a true soldier...we are so proud of him. I am sure all your hands n blessings are on his head, prayers for his safe return, I pray that he does not get tortured, and comes home safe n sound in body and mind."

"Thank you all for being with us in this hour of need. We draw our strengths from your support and energy," he added, News18 reported.

Wing Commander Abhinandan had safely ejected from his MiG-21 fighter jet before the crash but landed in Pakistan. In a video that has surfaced online, the IAF pilot was seen sipping tea and denying to give information about his whereabouts to the Pakistan army, showing his strong will power even inside the enemy's den.

The Indian government has conveyed to Pakistan that no harm should come to the Abhinanadan, and it is learnt that the Pakistan Army has indicated it will ensure humane treatment to the pilot. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan, Syed Haider Shah and demanded the immediate and safe return of IAF the pilot.