ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Air Force on Wednesday said its response to any “misadventure by the adversary” would be stronger than before as it decided to mark its retaliatory action on February 27 against the Indian air strikes on the Balakot terror camp as ‘Operation Swift Retort’.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the February 14 attack by a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber in Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF soldiers. Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting what it said was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
The next day, the PAF retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was later released and handed over to India on March 1.
“The PAF’s response on 27th February against the enemy aggression will be remembered in history as ‘Operation Swift Retort’,” Chief of the Air Staff Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan said here.
In case of any “misadventure by the adversary”, the response of the PAF would be “even stronger than before”, he warned while addressing an Air Staff presentation meeting of the PAF at its headquarters.
The PAF’s “swift response”, Khan said, was the demonstration of “our firm resolve, capacity and capability in thwarting the nefarious designs of the adversary”.
PAF’s Air Staff presentation is held quarterly to take stock of the operational preparedness of the force.