IAF Chief Cautions Pakistan Saying It Should be Worried If There is a Terror Attack in India

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New Delhi: In a tough stand, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on May 18 said India’s military may respond across the border if a terrorist attack on it is linked to Pakistan.

“Whenever there is a terrorist attack on our soil, Pakistan should be worried and they were rightly worried. They have to stop abetting terrorism in India if they have to get out of these worries,” he said when asked if the neighbouring country should fear retaliation for the encounter in Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that the armed force is constantly ready to deliver whenever called upon by the government. When asked if the Air Force is ready to take out any terrorist camp or launchpad across the Line of Control, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said, “If the situation demands so, of course, Indian Air Force is ready 24×7.”

Two senior army officers – a colonel and a major- were among five security personnel killed in action during an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district in May. Army officer Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh Kumar, and Lance Naik Dinesh from the 21 Rashtriya Rifles unit were part of the security operation; police officer Shakeel Ahmad Qazi was also with them.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier said that the Balakot airstrikes conducted by the IAF had sent out a clear message that infrastructure across the border could not be used as safe havens for terrorists. “If we’ve to be prepared for the tasks assigned to us, then it’s important we maintain credible deterrence at land, air and sea at all times,” Singh had said.

The strike by India’s warplanes on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist training camp in Pakistan on February 26 to avenge the killing of 40 paramilitary personnel in Kashmir and the Pakistani Air Force’s subsequent retaliation the next day triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

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