An aircraft-shaped balloon with 'PIA' written on it recovered by J&K Police at Bhalwal, in Jammu on 16 March | ANI
An aircraft-shaped balloon with 'PIA' written on it recovered by J&K Police at Bhalwal, in Jammu on 16 March | ANI
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What was supposed to be a regular week, wasn’t. First, they downed one balloon, then they came for the other. But what did India get out of downing two, not one, aircraft-shaped balloons of Pakistan? Are they spies? Are they balloons? Are these aircraft?

The answer lies in this tell-all tale.

In the early hours of 10 March, a balloon with PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) marked on it landed in the Indian village of Sotra Chak in Jammu and Kashmir. The intruder wasn’t welcomed with roses; instead, it was taken into custody by the J&K Police. Suddenly, it felt like post-Balakot February 2019 all over again. Only this time the situation was far more serious, this was no spy pigeon or warplane. But rest assured, the war room was on red alert.

A rattled India, still trying to figure out how its sovereignty was breached, was now under a balloon attack. On 16 March, the second aircraft balloon landed in India, at Bhalwal, looking like the cousin of the one that landed flat a week earlier. It was assumed that Balloon Number 2 was here to free its cousin. After all, it will go down in the history as the first-ever balloon that gave sleepless nights to the enemy. This is a curious case of arrested balloons.

One can’t help but wonder, were the captured balloons offered tea by India? And was it good tea?

This tale is different from 2018, when balloons with “I Love Pakistan” were found in Rajasthan. Not even like 2017 when Doremon-printed balloons landed in the Indian village of Malia with some Pakistan coins. How you wish it were Bitcoins. There was a message in Arabic that was hidden in the balloon too. Conspiracy was hatched.

Also read: India is re-engaging with China and Pakistan — it’s another pre-emptive Modi strike

Balloons deflate, tensions mount

While in custody, Balloon Number 1 has been at its best behaviour and cooperating with Indian authorities. We have been told by “reliable sources” that it has been heard saying, “My name is PIA balloon and I am not a terrorist.” Of course, no one will buy that. Because its inimical designs were not only for Kashmir Banega Pakistan but also to revive the lost glory of Pakistan International Airlines that has suffered at the hands of the Imran Khan government, which declared 40 per cent of its pilots had fake licences. This is also not like the time when good friend Malaysia impounded a PIA aircraft due to non-payment of lease. All that is now forgotten because the PIA balloon is a martyr. There is light at the end of the tunnel, always.

The tension in the sky suggests that either India or Pakistan, or both, can go to the International Court of Justice over the capture of two trained balloons. And both can then walk out claiming a win, but in real, winning nothing. It is true that the panic over this ceasefire violation by balloons is a real deal, given how excited everyone gets after one ceasefire deal. Even an intervention by the United States president can’t solve the ‘gubaray zameen pe’ kind of situation that we face today.

Also read: Pigeons aren’t first. India-Pakistan have long been sending deer, monkey spies

Move aside missiles and pigeons

To all those who don’t take this seriously, you need to know that this balloon business is Pakistan’s own space programme. And unlike India, Pakistan has probably spent only Rs 100 to reach this far, while India continues to waste crores. All for what? It is a tragedy of our times that such a state-of-the-art space mission would need an introduction even. India should learn all about it from the Pakistani balloons in captivity.

Now the pigeons, deer and monkeys who spent their lives spying for Pakistan and India have been challenged by China-made plastic balloons. How’s that for a two-front war? Not bad, I would say. In 2021,  balloons are the new Weapons of Mass Destruction, and should be flaunted in the 23 March Pakistan Day parade. Next to the defence toys like the big bad tanks, missiles and drones, a dozen balloons could well be a peek into the future of war. Let’s go ahead and give highest defence awards to Balloon Number 1 and 2 for their valour, while India can award the men who caught these balloons red-handed in broad daylight.

The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.

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  1. Yes india is wasting money on checking the empty letters for anthrax spores. Very funny. Instead it must be spent on various welfare programmes.
    It happend in USA and it doesn’t happen in india.
    Why wasting money

  2. Most commentators who have criticized or condemned the article and the writer fail to appreciate sardonic humor of the writer. There is also a hidden lament that while India has made enormous progress in space science, Pakistan is still going around flying kites and balloons. I certainly don’t see anything insinuating about India in this article.

    We must not become so humorless!

  3. Indian readers in a nut shell:
    – When this author pokes fun at Pakistanis? “BRILLIANT SATIRE! THOROUGHLY ENJOYED IT!”
    – When she pokes fun at Indians? “STUPID ARTICLE!! TOTAL TRASH!! THE PRINT ARE GHADDARS!”
    Funny people.

  4. I think you have Misprinted the name of your news portal….yes that’s what it should be…..MISPRINT……

  5. Pathetic piece.
    Click bait headline and total crap in content.
    Is this what The Print thinks “India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism ” and readers have to pay for?

  6. This article purely seems as if a Pakistani journo has written this… Even The Wire and The Quint stay in their limits. “India rattled”, “china did what imran couldnt” what kind of nonsense journos u r keeping shekhar ji?
    I admire The Wire, print and quint for rational journalism….Such hateful journos spoil the image of Agencies like The Print

  7. And you dont like it when we call you Anti National, by lookong at thw title of this article i thought i was reading it In Pakistan. But unfortunately its not the case. You are the bastards of the Neighbours who are living in our home whom we should send back to the ungrateful neighbours.

  8. First I thought it was written by Yogendra Yadav or his ilk! Then saw the original Paki name. Didn’t make much difference.

  9. Why do you even write ? I mean atleast have some standard English words. Or have you decided to stay at Pakistani level while writing an article

  10. Every true indian will hate this article, Looks like someone is writing from Pakistan’s side. This is completely against India.

  11. What External affairs Minister was right as British have gone but we are still worshipping standards set by org and surprisingly media are actually flaring these further giving it a some kind of credence. Will the same done by Chinese media? We have areas of improvement and so have many countries world over ? Was the incident which happened at the white House attack impacted downgrading of points for the US and it’s democracy? Was protests against India and attack on our Embassy in London impacted downgrading of law and order and human rights for UK? Was the act of India , the so called nationalist country offered Corona vaccine to over 70 countries increase it points vis avis others ? So, let’s support our country at least when it comes to international agendas pls. You can be critic provided you can suggest some alternative which can be beneficial.

  12. I am at a loss as to whether to laugh or cry with such a headline appearing in the India media. I suppose this is the democracy and free speech that our media has been crying hoarse about. Oh yes, the media will not clarify as they can only question and they can’t be questioned.

    Are we to believe that THIS is the standard of journalism we the people of India have to put up with? Is this because of a language problem or this is just to insinuate. I also wonder which spy (pigeon etc) replaced with which spy (balloon etc..).

    I am also aghast tat The Print feels it fit to publish this heading on this site. Of course we can’t curb press freedom; we are in a democracy!

    Tail piece: We should not emulate China. West (how far West?) may be a better bet.

  13. These are the first one to start Rudali act for any security flaw from force’s side. So they making mockery should not be surprising. They are among the ones who will call in dead soldier’s houses and ask about their caste to make a propaganda work. Pathetic , shameful. At end they cry that our media is in danger and in need of money!

  14. Hilarious 😆😆😆. I haven’t stopped laughing. This journalist is amazingly funny and extremely talented. Those of you in the trenches fail to discern the sarcasm and perfidy exuded by this brilliant author. Bravo.

    • Yes, Yasmeen. The hilarity in sarcasm is funny. Just like cheese you gotta develop a taste for it. Sarcasm is OK in the body but…

      Every writer will know in her heart that sarcasm in the title (cover) of a book, Heading of an article or in the opening line of a speech is in bad taste.


  15. Print why the hell are you like this?

    Is it your funding master that decide the shit u write and how you do or are you generally fraud journalists?

    All your writings are making India look bad….

    Sick mentality…..

    Please announce openly who funds you

  16. Faltu country Faltu leadership….Faltu media…Faltu writers….Faltu anchors…..With soo much Faltu in its existence….We make donkey out ourselves by reading and commenting on any thing Pakistan…don’t waste time guys.

  17. Instead of the rubber used for this balloons, were used by this journalists father at the right time, we would have saved a good 5 minutes of our life… And this ” The Print” begging for donations on such articles… 😂😂😂

  18. a media who mocks about his own defences mechanism, must be ashamed. They only only deserve tattered shoes and rotten eggs. From this post it seems The Print pass on indian intelligence information to chaina and pakistan just because of few money. They are trai*or of india.

  19. Oh My god you guys….. Everyone who is commenting that this article is a disrespect by the Pakistani freelancer is too dumb to realise that this article is supposed to a joke…… Please understand SARCASM guys…. She is just joking… She is in actuality neither disrespecting India nor its commendable army…. I repeat- this is not a real article… This is just a joke and don’t get to serious over this..😂 try to understand the sarcasm with which the Pakistani freelancer writes this…..

    This is coming from a proud Indian who has the ability to take a joke.

    • If more than 80% of the readers are not able to understand the sarcasm and joke, then the author needs to improve her skills.
      What is the use of sarcasm when no one is able to understand it.
      In this scenario, it will not be considered as sarcasm but as a taunt on India.

    • Fully agree madam! When we Indian
      lost our sense of humour?
      The author has lot of it. Sarcasm should
      be seen as Sarcasm.
      No need to get upset. l.,o,,l !!

  20. Couldn’t find purpose of this article other than pinlricking India. PAKI are in deep economic troubles
    they don’t want to solve their own problems and are begging for money from China and peace with India .
    . IS Print an Indian publication or iSI mouthpeace.?

  21. Dumshit article. How can someone pay u for ur so said “GOOD JOURNALISM”. Improve it first. Print shits everytime. Bloody morons.

  22. I get a strong smell that Print has got this article written by a pro Pakistan writer. Is Print getting funded to write such articles? And who is funding? Shame on you Print. Better go away to your Master’s country and lick their boots. This isn’t the first time I am reading such article.

  23. Why don’t you write the story of tunnels being dug to infiltrate into India by terrorist from across LOC. AND THE DRONES BEING SENT INTO INDIAN TERRITORY TO DELIVER ARMS TO THE TERRORISTS.

  24. Are your journalists delirious? Couple of Baloons giving India sleepless nights— Really!!!

  25. It felt like you represented Pakistan’s perspective….making tea jibe…..and even consistently questioning Indian defence mechanism….(quite obvious that modi hatred of yours often gets converted into india hatred)
    This was the reason you guys got bashed by Russians 🤣

  26. The Print has always made it’s agenda very clear and everytime it endorses write ups like this on it’s platform is like adding feathers to it’s cap. Pathetic and shameful.

  27. Are the people here a bunch of bullshits ? They don’t even understand what a satire is. So much influence of propaganda that they think that everything is propaganda. A few days ago, when the writer Tom Holland wrote a tweet regarding naming of Narendra Modi Stadium, these people thought it was Spidey Tom and one even replied #spideyjihad. Utter stupidity of the majority of Indian population.

    • @Ranjit: This is written by a Paki and entertained by congress led Indian media like @The Print!!

      Now will these media presstitutes should let us know how much of Indian media is published in Pakistan/China??!!

  28. Nice article shows the amount of insecurity and concern in Pakistan toward India. Even when their country is crashing. The amount of time they spend on publishing our side of new and focusing on what happened in India if they would have spent this much amount of time to improve their country their country wouldn’t be in debt right now.

  29. Actually if the criteria is
    1. Elected parliament and constitutionally decided Rule, no other agency should interfere!
    2. Farmers of each state have different crops seasons and type of managing – so it is natural to have different opinions
    3. But the differences must be solved amicably from lndia point of view- not by tractors flags etc etc
    4. As per the SC these are to be sorted out for our farmers by our farmers & law makers ; but clearly Not by foreign citizens companies or investors!
    Better we ignore these trivial markings by all foreigners !

  30. This article should he reported, and The Print should be banned. This third grade sarcasm is not really required

  31. First pigeons, now baloons giving sleepless nights to armed forces in Kashmir 🤣😂😂
    Actually, the police who unearthed these baloons are real hero’s, without these acts, they can’t be hero’s and their Duties can’t be justified 🤣🤣
    Jk police (SOG) and special branch delhi Police are twin brothers and really identical in nature.
    If anyone having doubt about this, just check and research about their roles😁😁😁

  32. Opinion of paki in anti- india print media. WELL DONE.
    This very media would have raise the question on the the law enforcement agencies, if they have not acted.
    Never leave a chance to insult the country.

  33. It makes one wonder why ‘ print’ like elements are so sarcastic on the defence mechanism of a country that has no other choice against a rouge nation . These elements often seems to believe that they are publishing the article from Karachi!

    • What type of vishwaguru we are afraid of sound of a fart .The farmers of this country accostomed to such tricks to keep away the birds from eating the grains before harvesting..What has happened to digital india ? Not enough to identify the toys and real threat.

    • One thing you have to appreciate that all Pakistanis are united.whereas we have pappu , mamta, congis, commies, ..abdullas, etc , the cut throats here

  34. Excellent article, shows your insecurity.
    You are right, Pakistan is about to get freed from Baluchistan. Also China acquired thousands of acres land of Pakistan. UAE askin 1 BN USD back.

    In short u r about to meet 56 hoots in Jannat. May your Allah bless u.

  35. Can we release some canned laughter now? Assuming of course that the writer has completed her piece. In case there’s a sequel, we can wait to release some of our laboured mirth.

  36. aur hum khaDE, khaDE, gubAr dekhtE rahein|
    kArvAn guzar gayA, woh pAlki chalI gayi


    Or, like someone else said, on his capture and subsequent imprisonment in far away Rangoon, मैं वोह एक मुश्त-ए-गुबार हूँ

    • when you don’t have answer you call another person nonsense actually the later one is ‘nonsense’

  37. I saw the authors credential. Porki. Belittled India’s defences.

    Then I saw The Print shamelessly asking money for themselves.

    I just want to spit on the Print.

  38. Is this article is a joke on our country and our army. Do you think anyone in Pakistan dare to write an article like this and live? Be responsible. You article makes me sick.

    • Yes india is wasting money on checking the empty letters for anthrax spores. Very funny. Instead it must be spent on various welfare programmes.
      It happend in USA and it doesn’t happen in india.
      Why wasting money

  39. This must be a plot hatched between India, Pak & China to help win WB elections. Now PM & HM can wow & woo Bengalis by vividly describing the deflation of Pak Spy Balloons by our nationalist forces. Modi hai tho mumkin hai!

  40. What a third rate article and such a waste of time for the readers!!!!
    I wonder the audacity of “The Print” to publish such an article…..!!

    Shame on you!

  41. The articles are the vomit of words by a mentally unstable moron. A stupid article. But ofcourse we cannot expect anything else from The print and its likes.

    • Just another piece of jihad commie shit journalist. If you are unaware of the methods of spying you are not even a journalist. Was it hilarious for you ? Maybe ,you are sympathizer for the other party

    • Jab tera baap duty pe hoga aur aatankwadi log usko peldega tab print chapega ki 52 year old man trying to attack muslim community gets killed in a fight tab humlog likhenge damn hilarious koodos the print 😂

  42. The Terorist state cannot have original arms,but there is no dearth of such toys with Pakistan Army. Scoundrels cannot feed its people with food properly,wants to wag its tail. Waiting to see when this country goes bust,which is a threat to the entire humanity.

  43. Article written by a mind drenched with hate and propaganda , added with false narrative , wasted time by reading it , and posting comment to let know whoever reads it

  44. Rattled India 😂😂😂 itna garv toh hai Indian army pe ki chan ki neend so jate hai bas tum jaise bhadwo ki wajah se hi desh badnam Hai The Print

  45. Loved the article.. Sarcasm is on point here if my small monkey brain could comprehend this correctly.

  46. Dear Print,
    It is one of the duties of a free press to provide a balanced coverage and provide contrary views.
    However, providing free media real estate to a Pakistani journalist to mock Indian security apparatus came as quite a shock.
    Her attempts to pooh pooh the security alerts on the Indian side disregards the fact that apart from spying, such balloons can be a potent medium to spread deadly virus such as anthrax in powdered form.
    Impartial journalism is always appreciated. A carefree attitude to real dangers to national security is not.

  47. Not a good article. It is because of these activities some “journalist” loose their credibility. I want print to publish neutral article not mockery or sometimes rant towards the government.
    I agree govt is not upto the mark and is religion biased but it doesn’t mean you can publish such articles. What will be the difference between you and the BJP it cell. It is easy to spread hatred (slight bit is also problematic in name of criticism.)

    TL; dr: please don’t mock police and military actions. I agree with mocking of govt.

  48. Your newspaper is always critical of Indian government and nobody is afraid of your balloon as such.its not waste of crores indeed its costly lesson learnt but still worth it.our space program is right on its way.

  49. Because our poorly paid jawans are alert you sit in your comfortable home safe and make fun of their efforts . You are very cool. I am sure your paki friends will find you very smart.

  50. What an article? She seems making fun. As a country, can India be lax? Action needs to be taken for each and every doubtful act. That is the job of admin. In case, she cant mouth, let her write a book or can go to some activist to raise it in UN.

  51. Such a simpleton article… a simpleton mind… With history of nefarious intentions exhibited by our ‘frenemy’ neighbor, their ability to resort to seemingly absurd methods to smuggler illicit payloads across the border cannot be underestimated… What is a PIA balloon doing in Kashmir in the first place? Starting a cross border service for transportation ? They have to contend with the existing service providers… The Pakistan army

  52. Good Job print. This is more like youtube thumbnail batch shit. You wasted 5 min of my life successfully.

  53. This article is a bigger waste of time than the two balloons for the Indians notwithstanding whatever capabilities are attributed to the martyr balloons by the writer of this article. Good that I realized it half way through…😊

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