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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 28 November 2020 8.33 AM IST

Ready to deal with any misadventure by Pakistan, say armed forces in joint briefing

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MUMBAI: The Indian Air Force Thursday said it is very happy that captured pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is returning home but dismissed suggestions that it was a goodwill gesture, insisting it was in line with the Geneva Conventions.


"We are very happy Abhinandan will be freed tomorrow and look forward to his return," Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, assistant chief of Air Staff, told a news conference.

Varthaman's MiG 21 was shot and he bailed out after bringing down two Pakistani F-16 fighters during a dogfight to repel a Pakistani attack on Wednesday morning, he said. He has been in Pakistan since then.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in Parliament on Thursday that Varthaman would be released on Friday as a "peace gesture".

Asked if the IAF sees it as a goodwill move, he said, "We see it as a gesture in consonance with the Geneva Conventions."

He was addressing the media along with the representatives of the Army and the Navy, who both said the armed forces are on high alert and ready to meet any security challenge on land and sea.

Tensions between the two countries escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday. It came 12 days after the JeM claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.

Kapoor said it was up to the political leadership to decide when and how to release evidence of the Balakot strike's success.

The Indian Navy Thursday said it is in a high state of readiness to deal with any Pak maritime misadventure amid rising tensions between the two neighbours.

Pakistani Air Force on Wednesday carried out a retaliatory strike across the Line of Control(LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and attempted to target military installations, a day after India's strike on the JeM facility in Balakot.

"The Navy is deployed in a high state of readiness and remains poised on surface, under sea and in air to deter, prevent and defeat any misadventure by Pakistan in maritime domain," a Defence spokesperson said in a statement.

"The Navy assures of a resolute, swift and strong response when needed. We stand as one with the Army and Air Force to ensure the safety and security of the nation and our citizens," he said.

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