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    We were ready to wipe out Pakistan's forward brigades after Balakot: Former Air Force chief BS Dhanoa

    Synopsis

    Dhanoa, who was the Indian Air Force chief when the aerial strikes took place in Pakistan, said that Indian military could not strike to secure Abhinandan's release but it could do it to put pressure on the Pakistan military.

    Former Air Force chief BS Dhanoa.
    NEW DELHI: Former Air Force chief BS Dhanoa on Thursday said that India was ready to wipe out Pakistan's forward brigades had Islamabad's "military adventure" been successful in response to the Balakot aerial strikes and added that "our military posture was very offensive".

    His remarks came after Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said in the National Assembly that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had in an important meeting pointed out that if Pakistan did not release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, India would attack Pakistan "that night by 9 pm".

    "Abhinandan's father and I served together. So, when Abhinandan ejected I told him that we could not get Ahuja back, but will definitely get Abhinandan back. During the Kargil war, my flight commander Ahuja was captured and shot dead. That was playing on my mind. I told him that there are two parts. The main pressure on Pakistan was diplomatic and political. But there was also a military posture," Dhanoa told ANI.

    "The way he (Pakistan MP) is saying that 'Pair 'kaanp rahe the' (legs were trembling). It is because the military posture was very offensive... God forbid if there were military misadventures on 27th and they had hit some of our military installations, we were in a position to wipe out their forward brigades. They know what is our capability," he said.

    Wing Commander Varthaman had shot down a Pakistan aircraft F-16, which had transgressed into Indian airspace during a dog fight between Indian and Pakistani air force on February 27, 2019, and in the process, his plane crossed over to Pakistani side and was shot down. Abhinandan was returned to India from the Attari-Wagah border on March 1, 2019.

    Dhanoa, who was the Indian Air Force chief when the aerial strikes took place in Pakistan, said that Indian military could not strike to secure Abhinandan's release but it could do it to put pressure on the Pakistan military.

    "But that decision is political. Whether we need to go to war. Suppose the strike on 27th had been successful, then to what extent do we respond. Do we respond with a full-scale war or only hit their forward brigades opposite us? This is a political decision," he said.

    The former IAF chief said that the Balakot strike had put fear into Jaish-e-Mohammad and their Pakistani handlers that India can hit them in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) as well as in Pakistan.

    "Till the time Indian elections got over, there was nothing because they knew the response is going to be very swift. We were deployed in this manner that we could respond at very short notice. It is very good for the morale that he was released at such a short period of time and he came back unharmed," he said.

    Abhinandan has been awarded the Vir Chakra on Independence Day by President Ram Nath Kovind for his exemplary bravery.
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    14 Comments on this Story

    Iqbal Hussain25 days ago
    Dhnowa was shamfully retaired after hiting on 28/2 by PAF,And kept silance untill mislead statement by one parlimentry ,now start barking like bolywood hero.
    Raghuram Chadalavada26 days ago
    In all these years, now GoI has shown some audacity to take concrete action against Pakistani militants. But even this is a half hearted effort, because instead of simply bombing Balakot. If we had instead bombed and then attacked and freed that area of PoK at least, we could have shown the whole world the nefarious activities of Pakistan and China and who knows maybe even the international financial task force could also have black listed Pakistan. The entire matter matter could have been brought to a finality and ultimately we could have gotten back PoK without much of a bloodshed. But then we are dealing GoI on this side of the border.
    I am Pakistan27 days ago
    Wow man, you Indians are just one bunch of sad people. Claiming to have shot down a Pakistani F-16.... shud we Pakistan's come and teach you another lesson?? Then will you understand..?
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