With India avenging the terror attacks being allegedly engineered from Pakistan, the morale of the people of Uttarakhand where every other family has someone in the armed forces is very high. After the initial euphoria of Tuesday when Indian Air Force ( IAF) fighter pilots destroyed terrorist camps deep inside Pakistan territory settled down and news of an IAF fighter pilot being in the custody of Pakistan spread on Wednesday, people expressed concern over the safety of their fighter pilots.
Ashish Kumar of Mianwala said that the Centre should ensure that the pilot does not meet the same fate as that of Saurabh Kalia who had been allegedly tortured to death by the Pakistanis.
Inderpreet Singh of Racecourse said that the time is appropriate to teach Pakistan a befitting lesson to end the menace of terrorism once and for all. He further said that the nation is standing rock- like behind its armed forces. Preeti Sethi, a housewife, said that the time has come when everyone should stand united and support its armed forces. “I have told my children that I am ready to prepare and serve food for the troops when required,’’ she said.
Notably, Uttarakhand has a rich tradition of sending its youth to serve in the armed forces of the country. A rough estimate has put the number of armed forces veterans and Veer Naris (widows of armed forces personnel) at 1.65 lakh and the state is home to about thirty thousand retired paramilitary forces personnel.
Similarly, an estimated 1.50 lakh personnel hailing from the state are serving in different wings of armed forces of the country.
‘Retaliatory Pakistan air strike expected’
Former Commandant of Indian Military Academy ( IMA), Lieutenant General Gambir Singh Negi said that the incident of Pakistan air force planes intruding the Indian air space on Wednesday was expected. The Indian armed forces were alert and reacted appropriately, he added. He further said that though the situation is escalating it is unlikely that Pakistan would take the risk of taking on the might of the Indian armed forces in a scenario of an all- out war. Lt Gen Negi said that Pakistan also needs to show to its people that it is capable to hitting back on India. “What seems more likely is that Pakistan would instigate the terror groups to carry out isolated attacks on the innocent civilians. Such types of attacks can be thwarted by the vigilance of the common people. We should remain alert and immediately report any suspicious activity found around us,’’ he said.
Thursday, 28 February 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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