At 7:00 PM today, Chiefs from the Indian Army, Navy and Airforce held a press conference to apprise the media and the nation at large about the nefarious activities of Pakistan against India in the recent days. This is the first statement by the Indian Armed Forces after India carried out airstrikes deep inside Pakistan territory, right up to Balakot, flattening Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps, as a response to the Pulwama terror attack. Following the airstrikes, Pakistan has breached Indian airspace and attempted to attack Indian military installations. Thwarting the attempt, India lost one MiG21 and shot down one of Pakistan’s F16. After the Pakistani aggression, Wing Commander Abhinandan Vartaman was taken captive by Pakistan and now, per the Geneva convention, Imran Khan as asserted that Wing Commander will be returning to India tomorrow.
Statement by Indian Air Force on Pakistan aggression
The Indian Airforce Chief was the first to deliver a statement. Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said that IAF fighters were tasked to intercept the intruding Pakistani aircraft and managed to thwart them. Although PAF jets dropped bombs, they were not able to cause any damage. This was pertaining to the events of yesterday when Pakistani F-16s infiltrated the Indian airspace and attempted to attack Indian military installations.
Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said that Pakistan had earlier said that they had shot down 2 IAF aircraft and that 3 Indian pilots were in Pakistani custody. Later, they revised the figure to 2 IAF jets and 2 Pilots.
He said the fact is that people saw 2 parachutes falling in POJK (Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir). Pakistan l changed their statement to say, 1 Indian pilot was in captivity and this admission came only late in the evening.
He said Pakistan has also claimed that they intentionally dropped weapons in open space where there was no humans or military presence. The fact is, however, they targeted military installations but were intercepted effectively by an ever-ready Indian Airforce and Pakistani plans were thwarted.
Air Vice Marshal Bombs then made a startling revelation. He said that the Pakistani Airforce dropped bombs which fell in army compounds but couldn’t cause damage.
He said Pakistan had also claimed that F-16s were not used in this ‘operation’ against India and that no planes were downed by the Indian Airforce. However, he said that there is enough evidence that Pakistan not only used F16s but also tried to deliberately bomb Indian military installations.
He said that every jet leaves their electronic signatures and that the Indian Airforce can ascertain through electronic signatures which jet was used in the attack.
He said that a part of AMRAM missile which was used to attack Indian military installations was in the possession of the Indian armed forces. These missiles are only carried on F16 jets. These parts were recovered east of Rajouri.
He said that the fact remains that one Pakistani F16 was shot down by Indian MiG 21 Bison. He ended his statement by saying that the Indian Airforce is ready to take on any eventuality. He also said that Indian Airforce has heard that Wing Commander Abhinandan is about to come home and they welcome their pilot back.
Statement by Indian Army on Pakistan aggression
Maj Gen Surinder Singh Bagal said, “We continue to maintain strict vigil along both, the Line of Control and the IB sector. Ground-based air defence weapon systems have been put on high alert all along the LoC and also in some parts of the IB. Our mechanized forces have also been put on standby.”
Major General Bagal assured the nation that India was prepared for any contingency. He stated, “I wish to assure the nation that we are fully prepared and in a heightened state of readiness to respond to any provocation by Pakistan. Despite the turn of events, as you are all aware, the Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region.”
He also asserted that the Army “will continue to act against agencies which harbour inimical designs against India and the citizens of our country.”
Statement of Indian Navy on Pakistan aggression
Navy Rear Admiral DS Gujral said, ‘We are ready for any misadventure by Pakistan and we are ready for resolute action. We want to ensure the safety and security of our citizens’.
He said that the Navy stands united with the Army and Indian Airforce to thwart any misadventure by Pakistan.
Evidence that F16 used by Pakistan to target Indian military installations provided
The Indian Air Force displayed pieces of the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile that was used to target our military installations. The pieces of this missile were found next to Rajouri, in Indian territory. The air to air missile is an American made missile which can be carried only on the American made F16.
The evidence of Pakistan using F16 to attack Indian military installations is significant since America had sold F16 to Pakistan with an end-use monitoring agreement. This meant that Pakistan could use F16 for self-defence but not for aggression against any country. With this evidence, India has also proved that Pakistan has not stuck to its agreement with the USA.
Indian Armed Forces take media questions: ‘As long as Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists, we will continue to target the terror camps’
The representative of all three wings of the Indian Armed Forces, Army, Navy and the Airforce took few questions from journalists belonging to various media organisations. Here are the replies to the questions.
WATCH: Joint press briefing by the Army, Navy and the Air Force in New Delhi https://t.co/SooRKNi5T1
— ANI (@ANI) February 28, 2019
Following are the questions asked and the answers provided:
Q. Do you consider Pakistan targetting Indian military establishment as an act of war?
A: There is no doubt that Pakistan targetted our military installation. We responded swiftly because of which their designs to deliver their bomb load at the intended target was thwarted. That is the task of the Air force which it did swiftly and responsibly, said Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
Q: After the air strikes, what is the status of tensions and ceasefire violations across the Line of Control?
A: Our war is against Terrorism. As long as Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists, we will continue to target the terror camps. The ceasefire has increased after February 24th. There have been at least 35 ceasefire violations in the past two days. The Indian Army has responded to the ceasefire with the same intensity, said Major General Surendra Singh Mahal.
Q: Pakistan is pressing for de-escalation. What is the assessment from the Indian Military brass? Is the situation going to escalate or normalise?
A: They targeted military installations on 27 February. Escalation has done by them. We were well prepared. We are prepared for any contingencies, said Major General Surendra Singh Mahal.
Q: Can you give us the damage assessment of the Indian Airstrikes on terror camps?
A: Premature to say the number of casualties on the camp, whatever we intended to destroy we got that result, said aid Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
Q: Do we have any evidence against Pakistan claim of no-hit on its airforce jets?
A: There is enough evidence to show that F-16s were used in this mission through their electronic signatures. Parts of AMRAAM, air to air missile which is carried only on the Pakistani F-16s was recovered east of Rajouri within the Indian territory, indicating that Pakistan has indeed used F-16. No other Pakistani Aircraft can carry AMRAAM missiles, replied Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
Q: What were the Pakistani strike package and India’s Strike Package?
A: Pakistani package had JF-17, F-16 and some Mirages. India had scrambled Mirage-2000, Mig-21 and Sukhoi-30 Mki, replied Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
Q: What are the forces saying in response to Pakistan sending Wing Commander Abhijit back?
A: We are happy that our pilot who had fallen across the Line of Control and was in custody of Pakistan is being released, we’re extremely happy to have him back. We only see it as a gesture which is in consonance with all Geneva conventions, said Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
Q: Do you see this as a goodwill gesture?
A: We see this as a gesture in keeping with the Geneva Convention, replied Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
It is indeed intriguing that Indian media repeatedly asked whether India is grateful to Pakistan for vowing to return Wing Commander Abhinandan. Indian Armed Forces were firm in their stand that Pakistan is adhering to the Geneva convention. Also, the Armed Forces have made amply clear that Pakistan tried to attack our military installations and that India is ready for any and all eventualities and would continue to target terror bases as long as Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists.