Business Standard

Pakistan claims three IAF fighter formations approached border, only one crossed


IANS New Delhi
The Pakistan army said on Tuesday that before Indian Air Force (IAF) jets breached the Line of Control (LoC) in the Muzaffarabad sector, there were two other teams that approached the border in the Sialkot-Lahore and Okara-Bahawalpur areas but went back after they were challenged by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) combat air patrols.
Director General Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asir Ghafoor, who first broke the news about the LoC breach by Indian fighters in the morning, held a detailed press conference in the evening to counter Indian claims.
Other than the usual denials and rhetoric about retaliation, he said the Prime Minister Imran Khan has called a special meeting of the Nuclear Command Authority on Wednesday after the joint session of Parliament.
While talking about surprise payback, the Pakistan army in the same breath claimed that the intrusion by the IAF was effectively repulsed not warranting an immediate retaliation.
While India has not revealed details of the operation officially, Maj. Gen. Ghafoor dispelled the claims in the Indian media that IAF jets were in Pakistan air space for 20 minutes.
He claimed that the IAF team that crossed the LoC in Muzaffarabad was thickest of the three packs that approached the border. It was challenged at the Tangdhar salient and the engagement lasted barely 4-5 minutes. The officer, however, admitted that the Indian fighters dropped four bombs that landed in Balkot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the angle of exit.

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First Published: Feb 26 2019 | 7:28 PM IST

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