Almost two weeks post the gallant retaliation by IAF in the form of the Balakot airstrike, in the aftermath of the cowardly Pulwama attack, top defence and government officials have said on condition of anonymity that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is still on full operational alert with an entire squadron of F-16 fighters deployed along its eastern front, reports Hindustan Times.
The independent American satellite imagery with the Indian Air Force (IAF) has confirmed direct hits on the Balakot camp. Shaken up by the retaliation, Pakistan’s air space restrictions continue along the country’s borders with India. Rawalpindi headquartered 10 Corps along with a Special Forces brigade from Sialkot of the Pakistan Army have been deployed all along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
the report has quoted one of the officials saying, “We have confirmed reports that PAF’s F-16 acquired from both US and Jordan are on high alert all along India-Pak border—from Hyderabad in Sindh to Skardu in Northern Areas. The Pak Army deployment including radars and air defense system along the LoC was strengthened immediately after the February 14 Pulwama attack as they expected Indian retaliation similar to that of the surgical strike.”
The officials say Pakistan’s immediate reaction to the February 26 airstrike was to increase shelling on that day itself. The Pakistan Army has been targeting Sunderbani, Naushera, Poonch, Bhimber Gali, and Krishnaghati sectors repeatedly through heavy mortars and 120 mm artillery guns immediately after India’s air strikes.
Data procured by Hindustan Times revealed that there were 19 ceasefire violations on February 26 itself, 16 the next day, when PAF retaliated to the previous day’s Balakot air strike and 26 on February 28, 2019. Shockingly, there have been a total of 467 ceasefire violations in the past two months with February accounting for as many as 251. The year 2017 has witnessed as many as 971 violations, with the number rapidly increasing to 2140 in 2018.
Though the officials are not ready to give away details of the Indian deployment along the LoC but said that the Indian military is not taking any chances and is ready to respond to any extremity.
In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, in which Pakistan supported JeM had killed 40 CRPF soldiers, the Indian air force had given a befitting reply by penetrating deep into Pakistan’s air space and bombing the Jaish terror camp on February 26, wiping it out completely.
The situation between the two nations escalated after Pakistan sought to attack the Indian Military bases in retaliation to India’s air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan.
Pakistan is totally flustered as Indian as well as global pressure is mounting on them to act against the terror groups harboured on its soil. Under this pressurisation, Pakistan is trying to indulge in psychological warfare, by sending a message to the world that it is ready to placate the situation while continuing its aggression on the ground along the border.