Indian Northern Army Commander Lt Gen. Ranbir Singh and 16 Corps Commander Lt Gen. Paramjit Singh had left for another post, 700 metres from the military compound where the Pakistan Air Force dropped precision-guided glide bombs in an air strike on 27 February in retaliation to the IAF’s strike a day earlier.
New Delhi (Sputnik): Two top Indian military commanders escaped the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) bombing near an Indian defence installation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir on 27 February, reveals a report in The Print media outlet some three months later.
The Pakistan Air Force dropped the H-4 Stand-Off Weapon (SOW), a precision-guided glide bomb, while retaliating to the 26 February ‘non-military’, as claimed by Indian Air force, airstrike in Balakot to destroy alleged terror infrastructure of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group.
The bomb fell inside the compound of the Indian Army’s brigade headquarters in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri sector.
Following the retaliatory strike, Pakistan military spokesperson Major Gen. Asif Ghafoor claimed that the PAF set out to execute the attack in a way to “made sure that there was no collateral damage”.
“Because we are a responsible state and want peace, we decided that we will not use any military target,” Ghafoor emphasised on the day of the first ever aerial clashes between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
#Pakistanstrikesback #PAF undertook strikes across LoC from Pakistani airspace. Sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We do not wish to escalate but are fully prepared if forced into that paradigm#PakistanZindabad
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) February 27, 2019
Nevertheless, Indian defence sources claim they heard in Pakistani radio communications that the PAF intended to hit Indian military assets.
Tensions between India and Pakistan heightened in mid-February, when a total of 40 Indian soldiers were killed by a JeM suicide bomber in Jammu and Kashmir state’s Pulwama district. The Indian government vowed to avenge the terror attack, accusing Islamabad of harbouring JeM terrorists. However, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government has categorically denied such a claim on several occasions.
Meanwhile, since the February clashes, the first direct communication between Pakistan Prime Minister Khan and his counterpart Narendra Modi was established this Sunday (26 May) — three months after the Balakot strike, as PM Khan congratulated Modi on his re-election as Indian prime minister.
Modi stressed that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism are essential ingredients for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in the region.