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Balakot: Fully prepared to counter any threat to Pakistan's sovereignty, says PAF chief

​Pakistan Air Force
Pakistani Air Force fighter jets perform an aerobatic show to mark the first anniversary of 'Operation Swift Retort,' in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Air Force is fully prepared to counter any threat to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the PAF chief said here on Thursday, a year after IAF jets bombed a terror camp in Balakot.

The Indian Air Force jets carried out air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot on February 26 last year to avenge the killing of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14. Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.

Pakistan's Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar, speaking during a ceremony at the Air Headquarters here to celebrate the first anniversary of the "Operation Swift Retort", reiterated the PAF's commitment of responding to aggressors, The Express Tribune reported.

"We stood as an integrated force that is hard-hitting and focused on its mission. Prior to the Indian aggression, our leadership had made it amply clear that no misadventure will ever go un-responded," he said.

He said that the PAF is second to none and has proved its air superiority on February 27 last year.

"Pakistan Air Force along with other services is fully prepared to counter any threat to the country," Khan added.

To mark the day, the PAF recently released a special patriotic song.

The relations between India and Pakistan strained following the Balakot strike. The ties further nose-dived after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir in August last. Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with India and expelled Indian High Commissioner.

The strike by India's warplanes on the camp and the Pakistani Air Force's subsequent retaliation the next day triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

An IAF pilot was captured by Pakistan after downing his MiG-21 fighter jet, triggering the most serious military crisis between the two neighbours in decades.

But diplomatic outreach by major powers and India's stern warning to Pakistan led to the IAF pilot's release after two days.
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