Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who became the face of the tense military confrontation between India and Pakistan, conveyed to the IAF brass that he wants to return to the cockpit as soon as possible, officials said on Sunday.

For the last two days, the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot has been undergoing medical treatment at a military hospital here. Varthaman told senior IAF commanders and doctors treating him that he wants to start flying at the earliest, the officials told PTI.

On Wednesday, he became the first IAF pilot to shoot down an F-16 fighter jet during an aerial combat with the Pakistani Air Force. Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army after his MiG-21 Bison jet was hit in a fierce dogfight. He returned to India to a hero’s welcome on Friday night.

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