Muhammad Shoaib Khan

In August 2019, following a deployment of tens of thousands of additional troops and paramilitary forces to the region, the Indian government moved to revoke Article 370 of the Indian constitution, removing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. India-administered Kashmir remained under lockdown, with internet and phone services intermittently cutoff and thousands of people detained.
Before this, In February 2019, at first India alleged Pakistan for attack on a convoy of Indian paramilitary forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least forty soldiers. Then, Two weeks later, India claimed to have conducted air strikes within Pakistani territory. Pakistan retaliated a day later with air strikes in Indian-administered Kashmir. The exchange escalated into an aerial engagement, during which Pakistan shot down two Indian military aircraft and captured an Indian pilot; the pilot was released two days later. Territorial disputes over the Kashmir region sparked two of the three major Indo-Pakistani wars in 1947 and 1965, and a limited war in 1999. Although both countries have maintained a fragile cease-fire since 2003, they regularly exchange fire across the contested border, known as the Line of Control. Both sides accuse the other of violating the cease-fire and claim to be shooting in response to attacks. Pakistan always took stance which was endorsed by several western countries that 2019 air raid by India was a “false flag” operation conducted by India’s governing party BJP​ for electoral gains, so Pakistan urged international community to stop India from its reckless militarist agenda

On several occasions, Prime Minister of Pakistan criticized India’s fascist government led by his counterpart Narendra Modi. It was an open secret that Indian PM himself created the drama of Balakot strike for his domestic electoral gains. At that time Indian media also exposed transcript of WhatsApp chats between prominent right-wing Indian TV anchor Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, the incarcerated head of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) ratings company. Those chats were published as evidence submitted by the police in Mumbai city as part of an ongoing investigation into manipulation of television ratings, suggested that Goswami, Republic TV’s co-owner and host, knew in advance of New Delhi’s plan to attack Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. According to the WhatsApp chat transcript, published in a report on the news website, Goswami texted Dasgupta on February 23, 2019, three days before the Balakot attack, saying “something big will happen”. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Khan stated that the exposed chats revealed the dirty nexus between the Indian government and its media, which pushed nuclearized region to the brink of a conflict. I quote PM IK statement which was “Latest revelations from communication of an Indian journalist, known for his warmongering, reveal the unholy nexus between the Modi govt & Indian media that led to a dangerous military adventurism to win an election in utter disregard for the consequences of destabilizing the entire region” So this was clear that something was already prepared by the Indian government against Pakistan

In the 2019 general elections in India, the “surgical strike” was one of the BJP’s​​ main polls planks, that helped the Hindu nationalist party in getting more votes and majority than it did in 2014. Later Pakistan foreign affairs ministry also categorically mentioned that India claimed balakot strike just to manipulate national sentiment in its bid to win elections in 2019. It is pertinent to mention that in November 2020 a report was released by Europe-based independent group, EU Disinfo Lab, also exposed 15-year campaign to “denigrate” Pakistan and the Kashmir movement at international forums. Purpose of that campaign was to generate anti Pakistan sentiments by targeting European Union and the United Nations with over 750 fake local media outlets and more than 10 non-governmental organizations

Now as Pakistan sovereignty was challenged by India so response was natural by Pakistan against India to let them know that anyone who will violate territorial integrity of Pakistan, it will be responded with full force, so very next day following the Balakot attack, the Pakistani Air Force shot down an Indian Air Force aircraft and captured a pilot, who was later released by Islamabad as a “goodwill gesture” and to deescalate the situation with India. After encounter with PAF, a list of grave mishaps by the IAF came to light: the IAF, in the heat of the aerial encounter, shot down one of their own helicopters and lost a MiG-21 to the Pakistan Air Force. It also exposed the lack of training and awareness of the manoeuvring capabilities of the aircraft by the pilot. The Indian military also demonstrated unprofessional and unethical attitude by disseminating false information and propaganda. The Indian military forces have always projected their military doctrines, equipment, and manpower as superior to Pakistan’s yet the track record of their failures prove otherwise. In comparison to Pakistan, China’s military power is manifold. If the IAF’s performance was so abysmal during an encounter with the PAF, how would India perform when encountering Chinese military power? This implies that India failed the test of its defence capabilities before an actual showdown could take place. This also suggests that despite a larger conventional force, there are clear loopholes in India’s operational capability.

At the end I must say that Pakistan once again showed its strength to India and retaliated against Indian forces. Gave befitted response, showed professional commitment and shot down Indian jets. It was necessary to let them know that Pakistan is aware of threats faced by India and is ready to respond to any aggression. This year Pakistan will once again celebrate its victory of operation swift retort against India. To let the world, know that Pakistan is prepared and can respond to any aggression against its sovereignty.

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