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Was ready for ground escalation by Pakistan after Balakot airstrikes: Army Chief Bipin Rawat

File photo: Army chief Bipin Rawat. Photograph:( AFP )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 19, 2019, 09.47 PM (IST)

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Monday said the Army was ready for "any eventuality" in the aftermath of Balakot operations and the same was conveyed to the government during discussions.

"Army was ready for any ground escalation by Pakistan after the Balakot operations," he said during an interaction with retiring officers in Delhi.

The Indian Air Force had prepared itself for both offensive and air defence operations in the region and had positioned its frontline aircraft in forward locations, he added.

He also said that the Army had also deployed a significant element of its Strike Corps' including the T-90 tank regiments close to the borders with Pakistan for any eventuality as the tensions between two neighbours escalated in the aftermath of Balakot airstrikes and subsequent dogfight between the IAF and PAF on February 27.

Watch: Balakot airstrikes - The inside story

Indian Air Force had carried out airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp in Pakistan's Balakot in response to Pulwama terror attack which claimed the lives of around 40 CRPF personnel.

Tensions escalated quickly between the two neighbours as the Pakistan Air Force unsuccessfully attempted to attack Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir the next day, on February 27.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of IAF emerged as a hero when he shot down a PAF F-16 jet while piloting a MiG-21 Bison.

His plane too was shot forcing him to eject. His parachute landed in PoK and he was taken captive by the Pakistani Army.

Under pressure from India, Pakistan released Abhinandan and the IAF Pilot returned to his country. 
 

Story highlights

The Indian Air Force had prepared itself for both offensive and air defence operations in the region and had positioned its frontline aircraft in forward locations.