Former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief BS Dhanoa, who was leading the force during the Balakot airstrike, on Thursday, said that the Indian armed forces were well prepared to wipe out Pakistan military’s forward brigades in case of any misadventure by the hostile neighbouring country at that time.
Speaking to ANI, Dhanoa recalled the aftermath situation of Balakot airstrike, when Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had intruded into the Indian air space and tried to attack the military installations near the border.
Commenting on the incident, the ex-IAF chief said, “God forbid if they (Pakistan planes) had hit our military installations, Indian forces were in a position to wipe out their forward brigades”.
Following the Balakot airstrike, which was successfully carried out by the IAF to avenge the Pulwama terror attack, the tensions between India and Pakistan had soared high and bringing the two nuclear-powered countries to the brink of war.
Recalling the tense situation, the former Air chief Marshal said that the main pressure on Pakistan was diplomatic and political. There was also military posture which was very offensive and all three wings of the Indian military were well prepared to deal with any misadventure by the Pakistani military.
Quoting former American president Teddy Roosevelts famous saying ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’, the former IAF chief said that in this particular scenario the big stick was the Indian military.
While commenting on IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s capture incident, Dhanoa said that when Abhinandan was captured, the Kargil war incident was going in his mind when flight commander Ahuja was captured and shot. “I had a word with Abhinandan’s father and had assured him that his son will definitely come back,” he said.
The ex-IAF chief’s comments come after a video of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq claiming that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had in a meeting had pointed out that if Pakistan did not release Abhinandan Varthaman, India would attack Pakistan 9 pm on February 27.
While recounting the sequence of events, Sadiq made a startling claim saying, “I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was perspiring. Foreign Minister said for God’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9 PM.”
The IAF Wing Commander plane was shot down in a dogfight over in February 2019 after he shot down Pakistani fighter jet F-16 near the India-Pakistan border.
On February 26 night, IAF’s Mirage 2000 fighter jets destroyed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp near Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. PAF planes retaliated the next day by intruding the Indian airspace during which IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman flying a MiG-21 Bison shot down a Pakistani fighter jet F-16. However, his plane was also shot down and he was held by the Pakistani military.
Following intense political, diplomatic and military pressure from the Indian side Abhinandan was released on March 1, 2019.
Source: Times Now