New Delhi: The three services of the Indian military came together Thursday to jointly assure the country that they remained in a high state of readiness to respond to any provocation by Pakistan.
In a rare joint press conference by the top brass of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force on the lawns of the defence ministry, the forces also presented evidence that Pakistan had Wednesday used AMRAAM missiles mounted on its American-made F-16 fighter jets to target Indian military installations.
The press conference came hours after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Islamabad would release captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday – a move seen as de-escalating soaring tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
“We continue to maintain strict vigil along the Line of Control and the IB (International Border) sector,” Major General Surinder Mahal told reporters. “Our ground based air defence weapon systems have been put on alert all along the Line of Control and some parts of the IB.”
“Mechanised formations too have been placed on standby. I wish to assure the nation that we are fully prepared and in a heightened state of readiness to respond to any provocation by Pakistan,” he said.
“Despite the present turn of events, the Indian Army is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region and will continue to act against agencies who harbour inimical designs against India and citizens of our country,” he said.
Rear Admiral D.S. Gujral said that the Indian Navy “is deployed in a high state of readiness and remains poised in all the three dimensions – on surface, under-sea and in the air to deter, prevent and defeat any misadventure by Pakistan in the maritime domain”.
“I can assure of a resolute, swift and strong response when needed. We stand as one with the Army and Air Force to ensure the safety and security of the nation and our citizens,” he said.
Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said that the IAF remains ready to take on any eventuality and looks forward to the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan.