‘Post Balakot, Army was ready for any eventuality’: General Bipin Rawat
The Indian Air Force’s Mirage-2000s struck targets in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 in response to the Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force men were killed 12 days earlier.Updated: Aug 20, 2019 07:28 IST
When the unprecedented, peacetime cross-border air strikes were being planned against terror targets in Pakistan, Army chief General Bipin Rawat told the government that the army was fully prepared to deal with any land offensive by the Pakistan army, two officials familiar with the matter said.
Rawat told an in-house gathering of retiring officers on Monday that he had conveyed to the Centre that the force was ready for any eventuality and also prepared take the battle into the neighbour’s territory should Pakistan have chosen to launch a ground offensive, said one of the officials cited above.
The Indian Air Force’s Mirage-2000s struck targets in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 in response to the Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force men were killed 12 days earlier. Pakistan responded the next day by launching its fighter jets to target the Indian Army’s installations along the Line of Control, but the IAF fighters intercepted them and thwarted their plans.
“The government had asked the army chief about the army’s preparedness when it was weighing options, including the air strikes, to hit back at Pakistan after the Pulwama attack. The chief told the government the army was ready for any eventuality,” the second official said, adding that the army had built up its ammunition stocks to adequate levels after making emergency purchases in the wake of the 2016 Uri terror attack. The army conducted surgical strikes against terror pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after the Uri strike in which 19 soldiers were killed.