Pakistan tells India to wait for its ‘surprise’


–Pakistan Army spokesman says PM Imran has asked ‘everyone to get ready for any eventuality’ 

–Rejects India’s claim of targetting alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp in Balakot, killing 350 suspected militants

–Challenges India’s claim of violating Pakistani airspace for ’21 minutes’, says intruding aircraft were forced to retreat within a couple of minutes by PAF jets 


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday asked India to wait for Pakistan’s response, hours after Indian fighter aircraft intruded into Pakistani airspace in the wee hours of Tuesday from the Muzaffarabad sector and dropped four bombs in the Jabba area of Balakot before fleeing back to their country.

“Today, the prime minister has asked everyone to get ready for every eventuality. We are all ready. Now it is time for India to wait for our response,” Gen Ghafoor asserted while addressing a press conference after the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“The response will come at a point and time of our choosing where our civil military leadership decides, and as a matter of fact, has decided,” he added, reiterating the statement issued after the NSC meeting.

“We have already exposed India and will do it again so the world knows what exactly India wants. ”


The director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) started the presser with a presentation, debunking claims made by India that the country’s air force had “struck the biggest training camp of militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot”.

“They are claiming that they remained in the Pakistani airspace for 21 minutes and killed 350 terrorists. They claim that the second strike was in Muzaffarabad and the third in Chakothi.

“Allah almighty is the greatest and we should not make tall claims, but come and try to spend 21 minutes in Pakistani airspace,” challenged Maj Gen Ghafoor.

“According to war methodology, our entire Air Force could not have stayed airborne. Our safeguards on land were in place. So if they had tried an on-ground incursion, they would have met the response that we had planned.

“Last night, our radars were observing them. They had earlier come closer to our border but did not cross it. Last night, their first visibility was observed near the Sialkot and Lahore border. They were seen approaching the border. Our Combat Air Patrol (CAP) team approached and challenged them. They did not cross.

“As per the SOP (standard operating procedure), when the first team got committed there, the next CAP team automatically was airborne. During this, another one of their formation was picked in Bahawalpur sector. The second standby team went down south and challenged it. We then observed that the more heavier of their teams was approaching Muzaffarabad sector from Kiran Valley. When our third CAP team challenged them, they had crossed the LoC.

“Their approaching of the border, the challenge and their return took four minutes,” said the ISPR DG.

“If they had struck any military position, then an engagement would have happened. But they did not do that because if they had done so, our soldiers were ready,” he added.


“India’s purpose is not that — Modi’s government, even when it violates ceasefire violations in Azad Kashmir, deliberately targets civil population. Had they struck the military last night, then uniformed personnel would have been martyred and it would not have served their purpose.

“They wanted to target a place where civilians could have died, so they could claim that they targeted a terrorist camp.

“This would have benefited their war mongering and politics. They entered from Kashmir’s Tangdhar — they were timely and effectively challenged, and repulsed by the Air Force. On their way back, they jettisoned their payload. Four of their bombs fell in [Balakot’s] Jabba and they went back.

“The ground troops’ job is to ascertain if anything has fallen or not. When they [Indian aircraft] went back, we checked through our line of communication and found that there were no strikes.

Referring to Indian media’s claims that “350 terrorists have been killed and a hideout has been destroyed”, Maj Gen Ghafoor said: “I called you [journalists] so I could take you there [to the site] and show you on the ground reality but unfortunately, I cannot take you by air due to rough weather.

“But the local media is there and have shown that there was not even a single brick there. They are claiming that they killed 350 terrorists; I say even if they had killed 10, what about their bodies, their funerals, their blood […] the spot is open for anybody and everybody: for ambassadors, defence attaches, UN military observer group in Pakistan.

“Even the civilian population or army representatives from India can come through the authorised entry points in Pakistan. See it for yourself and go back and tell your prime minister,” said the spokesperson.


“A lie has no feet to stand on. You saw their first ‘surgical strike’. I told them [India] that you will never be able to surprise us. We have not been surprised. We were ready, we responded.

“I said that we will surprise you. Wait for that surprise. I said that our response will be different. The response will come differently. We are a democracy. You have proved that you are not a democracy. You have chosen a path of war without knowing the consequence for the peace and stability of the region. We have fought for 50 years for this peace.

“There is a joint session of the parliament tomorrow and then the prime minister has summoned a meeting of the National Command Authority [country’s top nuclear body]. I hope you know what the NCA means and what it constitutes.”

When asked why the Indians were not shot down, Maj Gen Ghafoor said he wished they had remained in Pakistan for some more time. “Had India taken the decision to attack military targets, it could have done so from a stand-off distance too. It could have aimed without crossing the LoC. Their target was just to take a dry run.

“We have thousands of seminaries. They could have picked one, fired at it, and the casualties of our students would have made it easier to portray their lie as truth. They could have painted them as terrorists.”

When asked if Pakistan’s response would be in military terms or diplomatic, the ISPR DG said: “Whenever a country responds, it does so in all domains.”

When asked if India’s claim of 350 casualties has been backed by any another country, the army spokesperson questioned whether India itself had “shown anything or backed the claim”. “The clip that they are showing is the one that has existed on YouTube for 2-3 years,” he said.


Earlier in the day, the ISPR DG announced that “Indian military aircraft had violated the LoC as they ‘intruded’ from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)”.

“Indian aircraft intrusion across LoC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJK was 3-4 miles. Under forced hasty withdrawal aircraft released payload which had free fall in the open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow,” he said in a tweet.

“The Indian aircraft released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot,” he added.

He further tweeted images of the “payload of hastily escaping Indian aircraft” which “fell in [the] open”.

In his first tweet, DG ISPR had said, “Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircraft went back. Details to follow.”

The invasion into the Pakistan air space follows a series of threats by the Indian political and military leadership after the attack on an Indian Army convoy at Pulwama by local youth, in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.


Meanwhile, India has claimed that its warplanes attacked a militant camp where Pakistan-backed fighters were preparing suicide attacks on its cities, sending tensions between the arch-rivals to a new peak.

A “very large number” of militants from the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group were killed in the nighttime attack, according to the Indian Foreign Ministry, while Pakistan said its fighter jets scrambled to force the Indian jets back and that there were no casualties.

“A very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen (suicide) action were eliminated,” Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

“Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country,” he told a press conference in New Delhi, describing the threat as “imminent”.

India’s Foreign Ministry also said the camp was at Balakot, but gave no further details and the exact location of the camp remained unclear.

Beijing called on the nuclear-armed neighbours to “exercise restraint”.

“We hope that both India and Pakistan can… adopt actions that will help stabilise the situation in the region and improve mutual relations, not the other way around,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

New Delhi had threatened to retaliate after the February 14 bombing, the deadliest in three decades in Kashmir. Modi, who is expected to call an election in April, had threatened a “jaw-breaking” response.

On Monday, ISPR DG had said that Pakistan’s armed forces are fully prepared to give a befitting response to any Indian aggression.

Prime Minister Imran Khan during a televised address to the nation last Tuesday sought to knock some sense into the frenzied Indian government, urging it to share “actionable evidence” regarding the Pulwama attack, instead of levelling baseless accusations against Pakistan.

In a recorded address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran offered full cooperation, saying: “If you have any actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved, give it to us. I guarantee you that we will take action ─ not because we are under pressure, but because they [culprits] are acting as enemies of Pakistan.”

In categorical terms, Imran Khan said “we will not think of retaliating, we will retaliate. We will have no other option other than retaliating.”

PM Imran said Pakistan wanted peace with India and had nothing to gain from the incident. He offered to cooperate if any evidence was shared.



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