Whole nation sighed a breath of relief when on Thursday Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan informed about the release of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The wait to see Abhinandan Varthaman back in India finally got over when after a long delay he was handed over the Indian authorities on Friday.
While Abhinandan Varthaman visuals entering India through the gates of Attari-Wagah border made it to screens of every news channel, viewers kept wondering about who the woman walking behind Abhinandan is.
While many thought of her being Abhinandan’s wife or someone from his family, she was actually Dr Fariha Bugti, who is in charge of handling India affairs at the Pakistan’s Foreign Office (counterpart of India’s Ministry of External Affairs). Bugti is an FSP (equivalent to India’s IFS).
Fariha Bugti is also one of the top officials from Pakistan handling the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is currently in Pakistan’s captivity.
Bugti is reportedly the only woman officer working in the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan. She joined FSP in 2005 and hails from to Balochistan.
Tensions between India and Pakistan reached high on Wednesday as the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in a press bring on Wednesday afternoon, confirmed that an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot has gone missing in action and has acknowledged that Pakistan has claimed that the pilot is in their captivity.
The captured IAF pilot is Abhinandan Varthaman, a MiG 21 Bison pilot. This comes after the conflict between Indian and Pakistan escalated on Wednesday after the Pakistan Air Force violated Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and Nowshera sectors. While Indian officials said that a Pakistani Air Force F-16 fighter jet was shot down in Jammu, Pakistan has claimed to have shot down two IAF aircraft and arrested two pilots.