Abhinandan Indian pilot’s statue installed at Karachi exhibit

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KARACHI: It has put on display by Pakistan a statue of an Indian pilot, whose plane was shot down over Kashmir earlier this year, invoking the anger of India’s — media.

The specific life-sized statue — of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman complete with his signature moustache has been installed in an exhibit at a museum in — Karachi run by the Pakistan — Air Force.

Wing Commander Abhinandan’s plane was shot down in reprisal to India conducting air strikes in its territory.

His capture was seen as a major setback for India.

After his capture, the Pakistani military released a video showing him sipping a cup of tea and politely declining to answer questions.

He was freed later as a peace gesture from Pakistan aimed at defusing tensions.

The statue stands in a gallery named Operation Swift Retort.

The exhibit includes parts of the fuselage and tail of Abhinandan’s aircraft, a Mig-21, as well as a tea mug.

The gallery also contains images re-enacting — the moment his plane was shot down, and photographs showing him being handed back to India — at the — Wagah border crossing.

A mess receipt jokingly charging — Abhinandan for the tea at the cost of one Mig-21 — is also framed in the exhibit.

The Images of the mocking receipt went viral in the days after his capture.

The museum stands inside a recreational — park for young people in Karachi, complete with decommissioned — aircraft and other military hardware.

Samiullah Bari, a 10th grade student visiting the museum at a school trip, said, “I feel very proud of my country seeing Abhinandan’s — statue at the gallery.”