Early on Tuesday, the army spokesperson had said that Indian military planes violated the LoC, intruding from the Muzaffarabad sector, following which “Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled” and Indian aircraft went back.
The ISPR DG started with a presentation, debunking claims made by India that the country’s air force had “struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot”. “They are claiming that they remained in the Pakistani airspace for 21 minutes and killed 350 terrorists. They claim that the second strike was in Muzaffarabad and the third in Chakothi.
“Allah almighty is the greatest and we should not make tall claims, but come and try to spend 21 minutes in Pakistani airspace.”
“According to war methodology, our entire Air Force could not have stayed airborne. Our safeguards on land were in place. So if they had tried an on-ground incursion, they would have met the response that we had planned.
“Last night, our radars were observing them. They had earlier come closer to our border but did not cross it. Last night, their first visibility was observed near the Sialkot and Lahore border.
They were seen approaching the border. Our Combat Air Patrol (CAP) team approached and challenged them. They did not cross.
“As per the SOP (standard operating procedure), when the first team got committed there, the next CAP team automatically was airborne.
During this, another one of their formation was picked in Bahawalpur sector. The second standby team went down south and challenged it. We then observed that the more heavier of their teams was approaching Muzaffarabad sector from Kiran Valley. When our third CAP team challenged them, they had crossed the LoC.
“Their approaching of the border, the challenge and their return took four minutes,” said the ISPR DG.
“If they had struck any military position, then an engagement would have happened. But they did not do that because if they had done so, our soldiers were ready.
“India’s purpose is not that — Modi’s government, even when it violates ceasefire violations in Azad Kashmir, deliberately targets civil population. Had they struck the military last night, then uniformed personnel would have been martyred and it would not have served their purpose.
“They wanted to target a place where civilians could have died, so they could claim that they targeted a terrorist camp.
“This would have benefited their war mongering and politics. They entered from Kashmir’s Tangdhar — they were timely and effectively challenged, and repulsed by the Air Force. On their way back, they jettisoned their payload. Four of their bombs fell in [Balakot’s] Jabba and they went back.
“The ground troops’ job is to ascertain if anything has fallen or not. When they [Indian aircraft] went back, we checked through our line of communication and found that there were no strikes.”(Dawn)