Home Pakistan India Air Chief BS Dhanoa on Pakistan, Balakot, IAF strength, more | Key takeaways – India Today

Air Chief BS Dhanoa on Pakistan, Balakot, IAF strength, more | Key takeaways – India Today

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Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Friday said that Pakistan always underestimated India’s preparedness in fighting back.

BS Dhanoa was speaking at the session’s changing role of Indian Air Force: A paradigm shift’ of India Today Conclave 2019 in Mumbai.

Dhanoa talked about the preparations of the air strike in Balakot, Pakistan and how it helped India achieve its political goal. Dhanoa, who has an experience of flying for 3,140 hours, also talked about modernization and upgradation of the IAF.

Dhanoa also said the Rafael aircraft will be a game changer as the aircraft are far ahead in terms of missiles and its make.

The IAF chief virtually ruled out any possibility of a war between India and Pakistan suggesting that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s threat to India is an attempt to please their population.

When asked why the IAF did not strike after the 2001 Parliament attack, Dhanoa said, “Human intelligence is required before any strike. Also, it is important to know the target and what it is made up of. In 2001, I had told the chief, ‘Main dinner ke liye nahi ja raha hoon [I am not going for dinner]’.”


The IAF was ready to strike against Pakistan after the attack on the Parliament in 2001, as well as after Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2008, but it was a political decision not to launch the strike.

The government wanted only non-military places to be targeted in Balakot, Pakistan. The details of the air strike are still classified so there is nothing to substantiate the claim that the strike did not harm the terrorists much.

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had told Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s father that he will be brought back from Pakistan’s clutches. Dhanoa recalled how an officer Ahuja had ejected from his plane during Kargil War but was shot dead by Pakistan.

The Indian Air Force is sure that another Pakistani plane was shot down after the Balakot air strike. The Pakistan government has always disowned its soldiers died in a battle.

Pakistan has always undermined India’s preparedness. It did it in 1965 and also during the Kargil War in 1999. They know about India’s capabilities but never expected the leadership to take action. Pakistan did not expect that the Indian government will retaliate after Pulwama terror attack.

Women have always had place in the Indian Air Force. The force is open to granting them permanent commission. The IAF women are soldiers like the others.

The production of light combat aircraft is behind schedule. They have good radar and machines. There is a need for their production.

For the first time in history, a woman – Squadron leader Minty Agrawal – got a Seva medal. She was directing Abhinandan Varthaman when he was carrying out the air strike on Pakistan. Her role was also equally important. 

“An aircraft does not know whether it is carrying a male or a female, a chief or not. I was supposed to fly before I hang up my uniform. Abhinandan did what he thought was the best. It is easy to sit in sofa and give opinions,” BS Dhanoa said.

“Force package and strategic surprise are essential for a combat. We have Brahmos. They [Pakistan] don’t have it. I am looking forward to my retirement,” Dhanoa also said.

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