New Delhi: The Indian Army was prepared to retaliate had any military installation been hit by enemy fighter jets following the Balakot strikes, the Army said Wednesday when asked if India and Pakistan had come close to a possible limited war.
“The situation along the LoC can escalate at any time. We are always prepared for a response along the escalatory matrix,” Rawat said.
In an interaction with a select group of journalists at Army Headquarters, senior officers explained that they had prepared for a number of scenarios to retaliate against the Pakistani military.
“There would definitely have been a response from the Army had the Pakistani fighters hit any of the Army installations. However, they failed to hit,” a top officer said.
Asked by a journalist what the retaliatory action would have been, the officer said: “Why should I say in public what the action would have been? The enemy would come to know. Suffice it to say that a number of contingency plans were prepared by the Indian military on the possibility of escalation.”
The Pakistan Air Force had launched ‘Operation Swift Retort’ a day after the Indian Air Force carried out air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot on 26 February. But the PAF missed its targets, which were military installations in the Rajouri-Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control.
The Pakistani military claims it deliberately missed the targets to send India a strong message of its capability. However, the Indian establishment argues that the PAF simply missed.
Last weekend, former Indian Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa had said India would have put a “considerable weight of attack” on Pakistan’s forward brigades had the strikes been successful.
“Since the PAF had targeted military installations on 27 February, the Pakistan Army had now become a legitimate target and had their strikes been successful, we would have put a considerable weight of attack on their forward brigades,” he had said.
Biggest threats in J&K
Speaking in the context of Jammu and Kashmir, Army sources said the biggest challenges facing the security forces were misinformation and fake news.
“The focus is on how not to let these spread. Misinformation and fake news are a security threat,” a source said.