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‘Fully prepared to respond to any provocation by Pakistan, defence forces on high alert’, says Major General SS Mahal

Several expressways in Karachi have been shut for traffic too to enable fighter aircraft to use them as runways. "Pakistan has also launched an alert in Karachi. It has blocked expressways so that aircraft such as fighters and transport aircraft can be launched," said an official. 

Following the escalation of tension between Indian and Pakistan, there have been reports that Pakistan has begun massive mobilisation of troops, tanks and other armoured material along the line of control and the international border and has also been vacating civilians at border villages. Following this, India too has kept its defence forces on high alert and has geared up to face all contingencies.

This mobilisation of Pakistan troops, according to sources, started two days after the heinous Pulwama attack which killed 44 Indian soldiers.

Additional Director General, Military Operations, Major General SS Mahal, reacting to this mobilisation by Pakistan, had said that “our ground-based defence systems have been put on alert along the LoC and some parts of IB, Mechanised formations too have been placed on standby. We are fully prepared to respond to any provocation by Pakistan.”

In a joint press conference held by Chiefs from the Indian Army, Navy and Airforce yesterday, Major General SS Mahal said that our war is against Terrorism. As long as Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists, we will continue to target the terror camps. The ceasefire violations have 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, he added.

According to Indian officials, several infantry units under Pakistan’s defensive formations are at the LoC and its strike formations are ready. He furthered that Pakistan’s ‘precautionary’ measures have prompted India to strengthen its defences along LoC and the international border with ground-based defences and mechanised formations.

Another official stated, “Pakistan has either moved or emptied villages in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Fresh deployment means the troop strength has increased along LoC. Right behind, they are supported by armoured columns.”

Rawalpindi-based 10 Corps and 30 Corps in Gujranwala, which are units from defensive formations, are amongst those who have been moved close to the border. An armoured column consists of tanks and infantry combat vehicles which are meant to defend and if needed to hit through rival defences.

The satellite imagery of Pakistan military movements acquired by the Indian intelligence shows that Pakistan military mobilisation is heavier at the Rajasthan border.

“Even Pakistan’s offensive formations are being prepared, although they have not been moved,” said an official.

Several expressways in Karachi have been shut for traffic too to enable fighter aircraft to use them as runways. “Pakistan has also launched an alert in Karachi. It has blocked expressways so that aircraft such as fighters and transport aircraft can be launched,” said an official.

The tension between India and Pakistan has escalated after Pakistan backed terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammad attacked Indian soldiers in Pulwama. India this time resolute to pay Pakistan back in its own coin, entered Pakistan’s airspace and conducted an air strike bombing the Jaish facility in Balakot, Pakistan. 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 Vardaman was taken captive by Pakistan and now, as per the Geneva convention, Imran Khan as asserted that Wing Commander will be returning to India today.

India has strongly worded its position, that if Pakistan sincerely wants to put an end to this conflict it has to stop supporting terrorists breeding on its soil.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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