Major-General Asif Ghafoor has claimed that the Pakistan Air Force chased away Indian planes after they attempted to enter into Pakistan airspace.
Maj-Gen Ghafoor said that the Indian planes violated the Line of Control (LoC), intruding from the Muzaffarabad but quickly retreated after Pakistan’s Air Force was scrambled to intercept them.
Maj-Gen Ghafoor in his tweet said “Indian Air Force violated Line of Control”, following which “Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled” and Indian aircraft went back.
He later added that the aircraft faced “timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force” and ended up releasing “payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot”.
Payload is the carrying capacity of an aircraft, which is usually measured in terms of weight. This could include cargo, passengers, an explosive warhead or any instruments.
No casualties or damage occurred, the military spokesperson said.
He also added that details and other important information to on the intrusion was to be released shortly.
PTI, via Twitter, linked the violation to India’s upcoming elections, saying: “We realise it’s election year and [there is] a desperation across the border. Fact of the matter is, Indian jets were forced to retreat in haste by Pakistan army patrols and dumped fuel, which in their scramble they thought was a bomb.”
Social media users took to Facebook and Twitter to react to the attempted intrusion by India.
One person said: ‘Another surgical strike, at least they took out some trees this time.’
While another jokingly said: ‘Indian Air Force has attacked a number of trees in a forest in Pakistan, is this the response Modi was talking about.’
Another user said: ‘What the the trees ever do to India?’
While another person said: ‘Reminds me of my childhood when i used to play knock door run.’
Relations between the two nuclear power neighbours have been tense after a suicide bombing in occupied Kashmir which killed over 40 Indian soldiers.
India blamed Pakistan for being complicit in the attack, a charge which Pakistan has denied.
In response to India’s allegations, Prime Minister Imran Khan promised New Delhi to conduct an investigation if provided “actionable evidence” but also warned that Pakistan will “retaliate” if attacked.
Pakistan also warned into to avoid what it called ‘misadventure’, referring to a preemptive strike on Pakistan, saying it could have dangerous consequences.
Payload of hastily escaping Indian aircrafts fell in open. pic.twitter.com/8drYtNGMsm
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 26, 2019