GUWAHATI, March 3 - Lauding the Government of India move of carrying out air strikes on terrorist camps in Pakistan, former vice chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Marshal PK Barbora (Retd) said the action proved to the world that �India is no longer a soft country and it means business.� He also expressed the view that Pakistan would be in serious trouble for violating the agreement with America on the use of F-16 aircraft.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Air Marshal Barbora pointed out that for the first time, India used the Air Force to strike terrorist camps, that too inside Pakistan. He said the Air Force was extensively used in the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan, but those were different cases as two countries were engaged in a full-fledged conflict. This time, air strikes were carried out on terrorist camps and there was no casualty to civilians or military of Pakistan, he pointed out. He also admitted that as a former Air Force officer, he was proud of the way the pilots successfully carried out the strike on the terrorist camp without causing any collateral damage on civilians.
Air Marshal Barbora pointed out that for years, India faced terror attacks from across the border and could not do much to hit back and that is why, India was considered to be a soft country. But the air strike on the camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot in Pakistan would change the image of India as a country, which can hit back strongly if required. �The air strike proved to the world that India means business,� he pointed out.
The former Air Force officer lauded wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman and said the young pilot did a fabulous job and the whole country should be proud of him. �The young pilot held his nerve even when he was captured by the Pakistanis, which proved that he is a true professional,� he added.
Air Marshal Barbora pointed out that world opinion is in favour of India after the air strike on the terrorist camps. �Almost every country knows that Pakistan has become a hub of terrorists and India only hit a terrorist camp and did not target the civilian population or any military unit of Pakistan. Pakistan is very good at lying and the country is forced to tell series of lies to cover up the previous lies. But every time, Pakistan is badly exposed before the international community,� he said.
Air Marshal Barbora pointed out that Pakistan cannot deny the fact that it used F-16 aircraft to target India in complete violation of the agreement it had with the United States of America. Fortunately, the alert Indian Air Force could chase the Pakistani planes away before they could do any damage. He said America, as a part of the agreement for providing F-16 planes to Pakistan, carries out periodical checks of the inventory of the aircraft and there is no way Pakistan would be able to lie to the Americans about the use of the aircraft against India. Moreover, a Pakistani pilot was also killed after he bailed out when his plane was hit and incidentally, he was killed by Pakistani people who thought that the pilot was an Indian.