As tension persists with Pakistan, India on Tuesday said it will have “all options” available in case there is another terror strike while maintaining that New Delhi will persist with its efforts to reach out to international community to put pressure on Islamabad to show concrete steps taken in dismantling terror infrastructure.
Asserting this point here, official sources also said the Indian Air Force (IAF) has kept all its bases in Western sector on maximum alert after India carried out a strike on the biggest terrorist training camp of JeM in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26.
As regards to preparedness of the IAF, a SU-30 fighter jet on Monday shot down a Pakistani military drone in Bikaner sector of the India-Pakistan border. The drone was trying to gather intelligence from air about India’s military strength in Rajasthan when an air to air missile fired by the SU-30 brought it down. The drone fell on the Pakistani side after getting hit at about 11.30 am. It was the second unsuccessful attempt by Pakistan to use drones for spying in the last seven days.
Besides its military preparedness, India has launched a fresh initiative to get Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar blacklisted by the UN Security Council. New Delhi is also approaching other countries outside UNSC to compel Pakistan to take concrete action against terror outfits operating from its soil.
Sources said as parts of its effort India has shared with the US the evidence of use of F-16 fighter jet by Pakistan during retaliatory aerial combat and was confident that the US is investigating the matter.
Since Balakot punitive strikes against terrorist camps by the IAF, India is trying to build maximum pressure on Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, they said.
Pakistan has gone to all countries seeking mediation but there is greater understanding of India’s position, sources said, adding India has told the international community that it is not an India-Pakistan issue, but about terrorism. If JeM chief Azhar gets banned by the UN, Pakistan will get into a difficult situation as he has been residing there as per the Pakistan Foreign Minister’s admission, said sources.
Sources said on Monday the IAF has kept all its bases in Western sector on maximum alert after India carried out a strike on the biggest terrorist training camp of JeM in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26.
Pakistan had attempted to retaliate by unsuccessfully targeting a number of military installations in Rajouri sector the next day. In the ensuing aerial combat after some Pakistan fighter jets intruded into India, a jet each of two countries were downed and IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by the Pakistanis after his MIG-21 Bison was hit by Pakistan’s air defence. He ejected from the plane before it crashed and was taken prisoner in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). The Indian pilot was released two days later and returned to India on Friday night and now undergoing medical tests and debriefing by the IAF.
India’s air strike which the government had termed a “non-military” action, followed a terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir on February 14, in which 40 personnel were killed. The JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack. New Delhi called the air strikes non-military as the targets were terrorists and their infrastructure and not military installations or assets.
Wednesday, 06 March 2019 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
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