On Friday, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria warned Pakistan by stressing that the IAF would hit back if they (Pak) commit any terrorist attack. He further added that the IAF would respond as per the decision of the government. The IAF Chief made these comments while addressing the annual Air Force Day press conference. He was responding to a specific question about the possibility of another Balakot-like strike.
He said, “If they (Pakistan) commit any mischief, do any terrorist strike, we will only respond then. If there is any such act from their end, it will be responded as the government decides.”
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on whether there is a possibility of another Balakot type strike: If there is a terror strike (from Pakistan), it will be responded as per the government decision on it— ANI (@ANI) October 4, 2019
The IAF Chief's warning assumes significance after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, where he threatened India of the occurrence of 'another Pulwama'. Showcasing his war hysteria, he stated that there would be a bloodbath in Jammu and Kashmir once the curfew was lifted. Curiously, he indirectly admitted to the significant damage caused by the Balakot strikes by observing that India would bomb Pakistan again.
The Pakistan PM opined, "The Oppression which has gone down in the past five years will continue. Kashmiris will be further radicalised. There will be another Pulwama. And India will blame us. They are already saying that this is all happening because of Pakistan." He added, "Whenever the curfew lifts, Pakistan will be blamed. There is always a threat of another Pulwama. They might come and bomb us again. And another cycle might start."
After 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were martyred in the suicide attack carried out by the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14 this year, India retaliated by striking its Balakot terror camp on February 26. Pakistan refused to admit any damage to the site and instead tried to attack the Indian military installations. However, this attempt was successfully thwarted by the IAF, resulting in the loss of one F-16 aircraft of Pakistan. India's diplomatic pressure also compelled it to release Wing Commander Abhinandan.