Questions Arise If Indian Airstrikes In Kashmir Were A “Election Gimmick” As Tensions Subside

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Questions Arise If Indian Airstrikes In Kashmir Were A "Election Gimmick" As Tensions Subside

Area where Indian fighter jets delivered their payload near Balakot city. Click to see full-size image

Tensions seem to be subsiding on the Line of Control between Pakistan and India in Kashmir, both armies reported on March 3rd.

Indian security forces said they were carrying out mjor anti-militancy operations on their side of Kashmir and had shot dead two militants.

“By and large the LoC was calm last night but you never know when it will become active again,” said Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, a minister in Pakistani Kashmir. “Tension still prevails.“

The US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan said that it was looking into reports that the Pakistani Air Force used US-built F-16 to down the Indian Air Force’s fighter jet. That would be a violation of Washington’s military sales agreements, which limit how Pakistan can use the fighter jets.

“We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” an embassy spokesperson said. “We take all allegations of misuse of defence articles very seriously.“

Pakistan denied using US F-16 in the incident. In contrast, Indian Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa was cited to have said “We have got pieces of [Pakistan’s] F-16 which we have shown.”

On March 4th he also asked “If we had dropped bombs in the jungle, why would they respond,” when asked about the effectiveness of IAF’s air strike against JeM’s alleged Balakot terror camp.

He was also asked why MiG-21 Bison was used against Pakistan’s F-16, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that “MiG-21 Bison is capable, it has been upgraded, it has a better weapons system and a better radar. It is an upgraded aircraft.”

Earlier, on February 28th, Indian officials displayed to reporters parts of what they called an air-to-air missile that can only be fired from F-16 jets, alleging they were used to bomb its side of the disputed Kashmir border on the previous day.

However, in India there are concerns that the IAF’s air strike on a forest near the city of Balakot did not target militants and was simply used as a way to politicize terror.

Indian Union Minister SS Ahluwalia said that the aim of the airstrike was to send out a message that India is capable of hitting deep inside enemy lines and did not intend to inflict “any human casualty.”

Ahluwalia said neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor any government spokesperson had given any figure on casualty of the IAF air strikes.

“I have seen reports in Indian media and international media and also what Modi ji had said. After the air strike, there was a rally by Modi ji and he didn’t say anything on the casualty figures. I want to ask if Modi ji, or any government spokesperson, or our party president Amit Shah has given any figures?” Mr Ahluwalia told reporters.

The minister of state for electronics and information technology said the intention of the strike was to send out a message that India is capable of destruction in Pakistan’s own backyard if needed. “We didn’t want any human casualty.”

“I was asked whether I stand by the government’s statement or by the reports of Indian media which have said 300-350 terrorists were killed. I stand by the government’s statement. How can I vouch for media reports?” he said.

Meanwhile, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling party in India) President Amit Shah declared that “more than 250” terrorists were killed in the airstrike.

“After Uri, our forces went into Pakistan and carried out surgical strikes. They avenged the death of our soldiers. After Pulwama, everyone thought there could be no surgical strikes, what will happen? But under (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s leadership, the government carried out an air strike after the 13th day and killed more than 250 terrorists,” Shah said.

News agency ANI reported that at another event in Surat, Amit Shah also said: “Earlier our jawans used to be beheaded and insulted but today, situation is such that when our jawan fell in Pakistan while shooting down an F-16, within 24 hours he was back. This change is because of Narendra Modi’s will power.”

However, questions whether the airstrike and the incident was used as part of a political campaign were raised:

Former Union Minister Kapil Sibal also criticized current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi:

Referring to different international media houses, Sibal asked if they were “pro-Pakistan.”

“When international media speaks against Pakistan,you feel elated. When they ask questions, it’s asking because it supports Pakistan?” he asked.

Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu also raised questions over the air strike asking if it was an “election gimmick?”

Despite that, tensions appear to be subsiding. There were some ceasefire violations around 3,00 AM local time on March 4th reportedly from Pakistan’s side which received a response from the Indian side. Firing stopped at 6:30 AM.

Separately, the “Handwara encounter” ended on March 3rd after a three-day standoff in the Babagund village in Handwara, district Kupwara.

The two terrorists that engaged Indian security forces were killed. However, in the three-day gunfight 8 buildings were damaged and 5 security force members – 3 CRPF men and 2 J&K policemen – were killed in the clash. 1 Civilian was also killed, with the total death toll reaching 8.

“This operation posed considerable difficulties for the security forces due to the topography of the area. The area where the militants were hiding was very congested and civilians in adjoining houses had to be evacuated to safer places away from the site of the encounter,” a police spokesman was cited.

He added that the bodies of the terrorists were recovered from the site of the gunfight. “Their identities and affiliations are being ascertained,” he said. “Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of the gunfight,” the spokesperson said.

The police said on March 3rd the two militants were affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“Both the #terrorists killed were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit #LeT. One has been identified as #foreigner from #Pakistan. Identity of the other is being ascertained,” the police wrote on Twitter.

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  • Zionism = EVIL

    Like I posted on day one of India’s pathetic “surgical strike” on Pakistani pine trees, it was a Zionist idea to goad a dumb illiterate Modi, tea stall thug into a war with Pakistan. The only problem being in this disastrous and humiliating stunt was that Pakistanis were ready and waiting and their first rate force whupped India’s miserable liar ass. Modi is no sulking and the Congress Party and all opposition is laughing at his miserable election gimmickry. The Pakistanis told the truth from the get go. The Zionist scum got India humiliated.

    • Zionism = EVIL
    • alejandro casalegno

      The air combat is under discussion…….but the air strike was worthless, bad intel and worst execution………
      The israel´s guided bombs were a very expensive bulldozer!!!!

      • Zionism = EVIL

        The Jews are always creating conflict. They prepared the whole “strike” plan, not knowing the capability of the Pakistan airforce which is not Syria or Iran and hit back the same day in force. The Pakistani pilots have shot down Zionist jets before in 1973 war.

        • alejandro casalegno

          Yes, i read about the pakistani pilots in the arab forces…..you have details, pilots, planes victories ETC…

          • Zionism = EVIL

            Pakistani pilots volunteered to fight for Syria in 1973 and were called the UNSUNG HEROES. They are credited with downing Zionist Phantoms and Mirages and President Hafez al Assad, an airforce pilot himself gave them Syria’s highest military awards.

            “During the 1973 war, for example Flt. Lt. A. Sattar Alvi became the
            first Pakistani pilot, flying a Syrian aircraft to shoot down an Israeli
            Mirage in air combat. Similarly and on the Egyptian front, PAF pilot
            Flt. Lt. M. Hatif , flying an Egyptian MiG-21 shot down an Israeli F-4
            phantom in an air combat over Suez. Pakistani Air Force did not lose a single
            pilot or aircraft in any of the wars”.

            “After the engagements, Flight Lieutenant Captain Sattar Alvi and
            Shahbaz formation leader Squadron Leader Major Arif Manzoor were awarded
            two of Syria’s highest decorations for gallantry, the Wisaam Faris and
            Wisaam Shuja’at in 1973 by the President of Syria Hafez al-Assad in a
            public ceremony.

          • Zionism = EVIL

            “Flight Lt Sattar Alvi standing with his Syrian Airforce Mig-21″

            ” Mig-21 Gun camera footage of an Israeli F4 Phantom moments before it was shot down by Flt. Lt. M. Hatif of Pakistan Airforce

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f2e1ebf85839320ec5bcdd5c8c1986295f59eb5af887db6fd7ac1f075ee16e2d.png

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aa7cdb859d296bddfdcc2a3c23aa7206cc072f19b0d806eda1aecbda92aeec46.png

          • alejandro casalegno

            Thanks!!!!!

          • Zionism = EVIL

            Pakistani Sq.Leader (major) Sattar Alvi volunteered along with 15 others to fight for Arabs in 1973 war. Healong with 7 got stationed in Syria while rest were dispatched in Iraq.

            His squadron’s mission was to protect airspace of Syria from Israeli

            aggression. On 26 April 1974, PAF fighter pilot Sattar Alvi on

            deputation to No. 67A Squadron, Syrian Air Force(SAF) was flying a SAF

            MiG (Serial No. 1863) out of Dumayr Air Base, Syria in an eight-ship

            formation with a fellow PAF pilot and the Flight Leader, Squadron Leader

            Arif Manzoor.

            Alvi came to worldwide international notice when he shot down the IAF’s Mirage IIICJ flown by Captain M. Lutz. On 26 April 1974, while on an aerial patrol, the PAFfighter pilot team including, Flight Lieutenant Captain Sattar Alvi, Squadron Leader Major Saleem Metla and the formation’s leader Squadron Leader Major Arif Manzoor had an encounter over the Golan Heights between a MiG 21 of the Syrian Air Force and two Israeli Mirages.

            While leading a Mig-21 patrol along the border, Squadron Leader Arif Manzoor

            was apprised of the presence of two Israeli Phantom Aircraft and was

            cautioned that these could be decoys while two other fast tracks

            approaching from the opposite direction might be the real threat. The

            latter turned out to be Mirages and a moment later Alvi, in Arif’s

            formation saw the No 2 Mirage breaking towards him.

            All this time, heavy radio jamming by Israeli ground stations was making

            things difficult but the Pakistani pilots were used to such tactics.

            Sattar forced the Israeli pair into close combat, firing his K 13

            Missile at the first opportunity. The Israeli wingman’s Mirage exploded

            into a ball of fire, while the leader quickly disengaged.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=6oVquFoD3sY

            His interview is in Urdu but uses English quite often and is explaining why he and other Pakistanis volunteered.

  • Brother Thomas

    The first casualty of war is truth.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      Not really, the Indian BS was too much to accept, as if 12 Mirages could make it through the Pak defences. Their airforce is top notch with much better aircraft and superior pilots. The Zionists gave India poor advice and wanted a major war on the subcontinent. At least the Indians know their weakness and backed off fast..

      • northerntruthseeker .

        The criminal jewish psychopaths wanted this war, for the fact that Iran has been making inroads in both peace and economic dealings with both nations… The psychotic state of israel wants Iran destroyed, and is now purposely attempting to ruin any nation that does deals with Iran.

      • Brother Thomas

        I think you are giving the Pakistani Air Force far too much credit. That is what they like to think of themselves as, aces to the last one, mislead by heroic myths and false songs of glory from the inglorious wars of 1965 and 1971.

        War is a foolish endeavour of men who still are mentally pre-teen boys. There is no glory in war, only carnage.

  • Saddam Hussein

    Sounds like something Modi and his retards would do.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      It was a Jew idea :) Pakistan has sued India for Eco-terrorism as the Jew SPICE bombs knocked down 15 pine trees.

      • Saddam Hussein

        Definitely sounds like it.

      • TTdr

        And killed a crow by the name 300JeMs.

      • TTdr

        Latest news, as India has make their captured pilot a national hero, PAK is mourning their crow who died martyr fighting 12 IAF Mirage2000 alone, so it will be elevated to higher model 300PLUS-JeM.

    • Superfly

      Modi is as desperate as his pal Nethanyahu. India is sounding very immature.

  • Sephy

    indians are crazy people. They are proud of pilots that get shot down in the battlefield.

    • d’Artagnan

      It is pretty crazy to call a shot down aging pilot a hero. India needs to act maturely or will have the same credibility as Baghdad Bob or Riyadh Ron (Assiri) who was executed for Khashoggi murder scapegoat.

  • TTdr

    Its a great comedy, just read India news, plenty of jokes.

    https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/iaf-jet-crash-fake-news-pakistani-media-1466153-2019-02-27?utm_source=vuukle&utm_medium=talk_of_town

    While the world watch PAK videos proving IAF jets were shot down, a captured pilot(beaten up by villagers), Indian leaders & military chiefs with national newspp continue to lied shamelessly until this moment to deny any IAF jet been shot down.

    India even lied they shot down F16 by having 3 army chiefs holding a piece of metal scrap as proof. But there is no crash jet, no pilot to show.

    And they demand PAK return their pilot intruding PAK airspace, calling this captured pilot a national hero, who skillfully shot down PAF F16, before been hit (contradicting their stories of no loss in IAF jets, no pilot lost). Also hail as hero for fighting heroically with PAK force before overpowered, but video shown he got beaten by villagers until PAK army saved him. This pilot was a son of IAF ex- Air Marshall, yet piloting old MiG21 renowned as flying coffins, he must have very poor performance.

    https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/abhinandan-varthaman-release-india-government-reaction-1467305-2019-02-28

    After PAK shown goodwill releasing captured pilot, instead of silent down, India gone high hysteria nation wide screaming its their Modi super power win his release, and PAK had to comply not out of goodwill but its UN law & whole world are with India.

    And the whole country beat drums, dancing & celebrate, for losing 2 jets with 1 captured pilot. India is simply a nation filled with clowns & shameless liars leaders & military of no slight dignity. That’s what yanks want the world to believe, the next hyperPower to surpass China.

    In great contrast, Pak performance is very professional throughout, with its PM very rational. PAF said they used China desiged JF17 with China made AAM shot down IAF antique MiG21, & another one (some Pakis said) is SU30MKI that fell inside India LOC. 3 pilots were captured. But two suspected to be Israelis, so PAK didn’t reveal their video.

    Its a plot of anglozionists to lull China into war with India through PAK, after India RAW plotted suicide bombing of China embassy failed to stir up conflict.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/terrorist-involved-in-the-china-consulate-attack-in-karachi-assassinated-in-afghanistan-who-was-behind-it/5664035

  • Rafik Chauhan

    it was politics played by Amit shah and modi to save their face in the upcoming election. if they want to send message to Pakistan thenwhy not assassinate Azhar Masood. by saying IAF killed 300JEM terriost . nobody believes its just political stunt and blame opposition for delaying Rafale jets.

    • d’Artagnan

      India has lost face and all credibility and has become a global laughing stock with incredulous claims.

  • Jacob Wohl

    I have to admit – Pakistan has a great airforce. They put up a great challenge for the highly skilled Israeli Air Force and even won some air engagements during the 1967 Arab Israeli War and 1973 Yom Kippur War. Little is known about this but Israel lost some fighters do Pakistani planes, and Pakistan did not suffer any casualties. However if this were today, Israel would rule the skies and blow away any Pakistani fighter plane. Pakistani AF still has some of my respect for their skill in the past and current professionalism.

    • Superfly

      At least the Pakistan airforce is not bombing civilians in Gaza.

  • Smaug

    May I remind everyone that this slugmatch started over wanted Kashmiris using the demilitarized zones as a safe haven from the India Army. And there is a very real terror campaign going on by Kashmiri separatists right now. This could easily be exactly what it looks like: The Indians pursued the separatists into Pakistani territory and Pakistan did not tolerate that.