Operation Swift Retort – evidence of Pakistan’s defense capabilities

February 27, 2019, was a day of pride for Pakistanis because despite the tall claims of the enemies of Pakistan its defenders proved once again that they are capable of defending the motherland and are prepared for all eventualities. The situation started escalating when on February 14, 2019, India staged a false on its own paramilitary convoy was in Pulwama killing 44 Indian soldiers and India started with its false propaganda against Pakistan.

While nothing else was expected of the likes PM Modi but the threats of war were indications of some sort of mischief. Indian lies were exposed just in a few days by their own Military Commander Lt Gen D.S. Hooda claimed that the number of explosives used in the attack was so large that it was impossible to have been brought by infiltrating the border. It was clear from this that this false flag operation was done in the wake of Indian elections as is the practice set by the Indian leadership. Despite all this Prime Minster Imran Khan displayed his seriousness on the matter and asked India to share fact-based evidence with Pakistan so that action might be taken accordingly.

This, however, didn’t stop the madness and on Feb 26, 2019, Indian Military Planes violated the Line of Control (LoC) and intruded through Muzaffarad but due to the quick response from the Pakistan Air force, they were sent scrambling back. Indian media started with their false propaganda to fool their general public that India had conducted a surgical strike within Pakistan, a claim quickly debunked by Pakistan, after which the then DG ISPR issued a memorable statement in which he told India to wait for Pakistan’s response which will be of Pakistan’s choosing and has already been decided.

India had claimed that during the early hours of February 26, 2019 Indian JeM “terrorist camps”, and subsequently declared that they had killed 300-350 terrorists who had executed Pulwama. Pakistan and independent international media sources found this claim to be false. While the airstrikes did take place, no on-ground damage except for a few trees and a crow was done. Since PAF aircraft scrambled, the Indian planes returned back, releasing their payload in haste and missing their target. Pakistan expressed serious concerns about this blatant effort to undermine its sovereignty and pledged a matching response to such belligerent posturing during the National Command Authority’s meeting convened the same day.

The next morning, Pakistan Air Force launched Operation Swift Retort in which it targeted the adjacent open fields of the Indian Army’s 25th Division Headquarters ammunition and supply depot at the time when the Indian Army Chief was present there. On their return, the PAF Falcons intercepted MiG-21 Bison and Sukhoi-30s approaching to chase them but in a dogfight of several seconds, PAF fighters shot down the MiG-21, resulting in the capture of its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan who ejected the jet and was captured by Pakistani soldiers. Since 1971, this was the first time that both air forces entered each other’s territory and carried out kinetic strikes. The Indian action reflected the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s extremist mindset and arrogance that was severely busted on February 27, 2019.

While numerically weak, the Pakistan Air Force reaffirmed its professionalism and unwavering resolve to challenge any attempt to alter the status quo. Capturing the Indian pilot and showing the debris of the crashed MiG-21 inside Pakistan’s territory offer irrefutable evidence of the Indian fiasco. It has been 3 years and Operation Swift retort is celebrated in Pakistan while India hides behind its false propaganda to shield itself from the embarrassment.

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