The armed forces will not talk but just deliver against any threat to the country, air force chief Arup Raha said on Saturday, highlighting the Pathankot and Uri attacks as “sign of the times we live in”.
“There has been so much discussion on this issue (of external aggression) in the country; every section of society is giving opinion on this issue...the armed forces are supposed to deliver the result that the nation expects. We are not going to talk about it; we will just deliver,” the air chief marshal said at the Hindon air base on the 84th Air Force Day which commemorates the establishment of the force in 1932.
His comments come amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan after a militant attack on an army at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir left 19 soldiers dead. India retaliated by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control (LoC) that destroyed several militant launch pads. An unspecified number of militants are also believed to have been killed in the strikes, which Pakistan says never took place.
New Delhi has blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed for the Uri attack as well as the earlier siege of an air force base at Pathankot.
Raha, however, refused to comment on the Army action across the LoC.
“The terrorist attacks at the Uri (army camp) and Pathankot (IAF) base show the troubled times we are living in,” Raha said but added later that India is learning lessons every time something happens.
“We are getting smarter and smarter; we are learning lessons every time something happens. I think we are very well prepared now to face any such contingency,” he said.
“The armed forces are well prepared to take on any sub-conventional threat. We have had one or two cases...a determined terrorist can always get the better of people but the aim is to prevent it...the deterrence. We should be able to detect any such attack right in the beginning so that we can neutralise them (terrorists) before they cause any damage,” the IAF chief said.
The high point of the celebrations were the spectacular displays by Sukhois, Mirage-2000, MIG-29 and Jaguar along with heavy lift, special operations, C-17s and advanced light helicopters. On the ground, the ‘rifle’ carrying team of the air warriors performed different drills.
Navy chief admiral Sunil Lanba, army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, conferred with the honorary title of group captain, were also present.
(With agency inputs)