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Pakistani jets did not cross LoC day after Balakot strikes, says IAF chief Dhanoa

The Indian and Pakistan air forces engaged in a dogfight on 27 February, a day after Indian fighter jets attacked Jaish terror camps in Balakot.

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Gwalior: Pakistani fighter jets did not cross the Line of Control into the Indian side during the 27 February dogfight, Indian Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa said Monday.

The dogfight came a day after Indian planes attacked terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot, in retaliation for the 14 February Pulwama suicide attack, which killed 40 CRPF personnel, and triggered fears of another war between the two countries.

“Pakistan did not come into our airspace. Our objective was to strike terror camps. Their objective was to target Army bases. None of them crossed the border,” Dhanoa said. “We achieved our military objective.”

Dhanoa was speaking at an event at the Gwalior air base to commemorate 20 years of the Kargil conflict. The air base is the only one that houses three squadrons of Mirage 2000s, the dynamic fighter jets that took part in both the Kargil conflict 20 years ago as well as the recent Balakot strikes.

Also read: IAF to change missile-firing procedure to ensure video feed in Balakot-like operations

‘Not at odds’

Dhanoa’s statement seemed to be at odds with the one issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on 27 February, which said New Delhi had summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan to lodge a protest at the country’s “unprovoked act of aggression”, including “violation of Indian air space” and “targeting of Indian military posts”.

However, a senior IAF officer clarified that while Pakistani jets did not physically cross the LoC, they did violate Indian airspace by targeting Indian military posts from their side of the LoC.

“You don’t need to cross the LoC physically to target some point in India. It can be done from the other side too, and that is a violation of Indian airspace too,” the officer told ThePrint, referring to the fact that the Pakistan Air Force had dropped bombs near military installations in Indian territory.

‘Closed airspace their problem’

During his address, the IAF chief also weighed in on the prolonged closure of Pakistan’s airspace following the Balakot airstrikes, saying it was their problem.

“Our economy is vibrant and air traffic is a very important part,” he said, adding that the IAF never stopped civilian air traffic but for a two-three window operational for the Srinagar airspace on 27 February.

He said India did not allow tensions with Pakistan to dictate “our civil aviation because India’s economy is much bigger and stronger than Pakistan’s”.

Also read: Never mind Balakot, IAF is worse off than Pakistan Air Force on pilot strength


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  1. One more difference to note here:

    IAF used Mirages (French) and Spice 2000 (Israel) while PAF used JF-17 (Pakistan) SOW-4 bombs (Pakistan). Pakistan is becoming self-reliant while India is buying everything which he could from the all over the world.

  2. For Air Chief to have come out with such remarks after 4 months which is contrary to the one of the Ministry of external affairs having lodged a complaint with the High commission of Pakistan is something which sends wrong signal about the truthfulness of Modi Govt. itself .

  3. The truth will keep on coming out gradually.

    How about the Su-30 that went down on 27th feb? When are you going to accept that? Why IAF has signed so many BVR deals post 27th ? What exactly happend?

    • Well, what happened was clear to the whole world except gullible indian public. A tiny country, 1/7 th the size of the local bully kicked the skit out the bully, destroyed at least 1 of its airplane, captured bully`s 1 goon, thrashed him good, paraded him in front of the world while bully just kept whining like a butt hurt mama`s boy! Juust a tiny tiny country!!!

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