As the Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated the 87th Indian Air Force Day on Tuesday, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria termed the Balakot airstrike as the “resolve of political leadership to punish perpetrators of terrorism”.
“Strategic relevance of this (Balakot airstrike) is the resolve of political leadership to punish perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in govt’s way of handling terrorist attacks,” the IAF chief was quoted as saying by news agency.
Recalling Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed in February, “a stark reminder” of the constant threat from the neighbouring country, Bhadauria said, “Present security environment in the neighbourhood is a serious cause of concern. The Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations."
"On February 26 this year, the IAF successfully struck terrorist camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted Pakistan Air Force's attempts to attack our military establishments. In the aerial engagement that followed we shot down a PAF F-16 fighter aircraft and lost a MiG-21," the IAF chief said in his remarks during Air Force Day press conference on October 4.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria were present at the event.