As reports of air strikes across the LoC by IAF planes gather steam looks like our defences are in the air including this airborne early warning aircraft. Appears to be patrolling the international border.
The problem now becomes PM Imran Khan’s commitment to his country – “Pakistan will not think about responding, Pakistan WILL respond”. What shape will response take? Where will response be? Will India have to respond to Pakistan’s response?
Wow, if this is true this was not a small strike by any stretch of imagination but will wait for official word, should any be forthcoming.
It’s sitting in Srinagar offloading paramilitary forces to deal with internal security & election duty. Has nothing to do with the airstrike in to Pakistan this morning.
If this is Balakote in KPK it’s a major incursion & a significant strike by IAF planes. However if it’s Balakote in Poonch sector, along the LoC it’s a largely symbolic strike because at this time of the year forward launch pads & militant camps are empty & non-functional.
Unless we know which Balakote is being talked about by the Pakistani generals it’s pointless speculating about what we may have hit & what fallout the airstrike will have.
So it is Balakote in KPK. That’s a strike deep inside Pakistan & is hugely embarrassing for them. Regardless of what the other side may claim was or wasn’t hit the planes crossed over, dropped their payload & flew back completely unscathed.
After Abbotabad the line they took was “we are primed to look East to prevent any Indian attacks and that’s how the Americans got through”. So where were they looking now?
We’ve entered a whole new paradigm with the Balakote air strike. The post Uri strike was to avenge our losses, Balakote was a “preemptive strike to prevent an imminent JeM attack”. Totally new ballgame.
A number of firsts from Balakote, the two most obvious are the first time air power has been used to strike in side Pakistan during peace times (last time in 1971 was during war) & first time visible, acknowledged use of force to preempt a perceived terror strike.
Now we have an obligation to ensure that our people living near the international border & line of control are not caught in any Pakistani response. Local administrations need to be ready to evacuate & rehouse people to safe areas if situation escalates.
I’m in touch with my party colleagues in frontier areas to lend all possible help & assistance, both to the administration as well as to any people caught up in any Pakistani misadventure.