Pak fighter jets fly close to Siachen Glacier

PAF Chief warns of befitting reply to India's punitive assault IAF denies violation of airspace
Report by: 
Agencies
NEW DELHI
24 May 2017

At a time when India-Pak relations are hitting a boiling point, fighters jets of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) made flights near Siachen Glacier this morning.

Pakistan Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, who visited the Qadri Airbase in Skardu, has reportedly warned India of severe repercussions following any aggression. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman confirmed that all forward operating bases of the PAF have been made operational in response to Indian ‘threats’. According to Geo TV, the PAF Chief stated Pakistan's response to any Indian aggression will be remembered by their coming generations. Aman also met the pilots and technical staff of the fighting force and himself flew a Mirage jet on the occasion.

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today warned of giving a befitting response to any hostile action on the borders, notwithstanding the country's desire for enduring peace with neighbours. The budding state of stability achieved after countless sacrifices by the security forces, law enforcement agencies and the nation shall be consolidated to have a normalised Pakistan, Bajwa said in his address to the 75th Annual Formation Commanders conference held at the army headquarter in Rawalpindi attended by top Army officers. "He (Bajwa) said that notwithstanding our desire for enduring peace with our neighbours, any hostile action anywhere along our frontiers shall be responded most befittingly," it said.

Improving situation in Balochistan was discussed in the conference where officers were also briefed on the geo- strategic environment, progress of military operation Radd- ul-Fasaad against militants, operational preparedness against conventional threat and matters concerning national security. The progress and security of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were also discussed. Bajwa had recently visited the frontline field formations along the eastern and western frontiers. Karachi operation, military operations in Punjab and elsewhere will be continued till sustainable stability is achieved, the statement added.

However, the Indian Air Force today categorically rejected reports of any airspace violation by the Pakistan fighter jets in Siachen after reports claimed that the neighbouring country's air chief flew over the region. The Pakistan Army today also released a video purportedly showing heavy damage caused to the Indian military posts across the Line of Control, in a tit-for-tat action after the Indian Army released a clip of the "punitive fire assaults" on Pakistani positions. Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor in a brief statement with the video, posted on the army's Facebook page, alleged that India on May 13 had targeted innocent civilians. "In befitting response, the Pakistan Army destroyed Indian posts in Nowshera Sector," he said. The 87-second video purportedly shows heavy-artillery pounding several Indian positions, which were completely destroyed. The Indian Army yesterday said it launched "punitive fire assaults" on Pakistani positions across the LoC, inflicting "some damage", days after two of its troopers were beheaded.

The Pakistan Army, however, dismissed as "false", the Indian Army's assertion of destroying its posts in the Naushera sector. Sources in the Indian Army said the strike was a message to Pakistan that it will take stronger action with increased frequency against any infiltration attempts from across the border. Meanwhile in Washington, a top American defence intelligence chief said that India is moving towards isolating Pakistan diplomatically and is considering punitive actions against Islamabad for its alleged support to cross border terrorism.

"India has sought and continues to move to isolate Pakistan diplomatically and is considering punitive options to raise the cost to Islamabad for its alleged support to cross- border terrorism," Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, Director, Defence Intelligence Agency, told members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on worldwide threats. His statement came a day after Indian Army announced that they launched "punitive fire assaults" on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control, inflicting some damage. Sources said the strike was carried out on May 9, nine days after two Indian security personnel were beheaded by Pakistani special forces in Kashmir.

India, he said, is modernising its military to better posture itself to defend New Delhi's interests in the broader Indian Ocean region and reinforce its diplomatic and economic outreach across Asia.