Balakot Airstrike | Pakistan still wary about safety of its F-16 fighter jets: Report

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 18 May 2019, 11:19 PM
Pakistan Air Force takes out its F-16s from their home bases in Sargodha, Punjab, and Sindh and deploys them at their satellite fields in a scattered manner.
Pakistan Air Force takes out its F-16s from their home bases in Sargodha, Punjab, and Sindh and deploys them at their satellite fields in a scattered manner.

The Pakistan Air Force is still wary of the safety of its fighter jets, including F-16 planes, even after 75 days since the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted airstrike on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camps in Pakistan's Balakot,

According to news agency ANI, the Pakistan Air Force has taken out its F-16s from their home bases in Sargodha, Punjab, and Sindh and has deployed them at their satellite fields in a scattered manner.

These deployments could have been made to avoid any major losses in one go in case of any possible strikes from India that they may be apprehended, ANI quoted sources as saying.

Sources said the Pakistan Air Force has been at forward locations all along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) after Balakot strikes and its failure to counter India.

Earlier, it was reported that, the Pakistani military has put nearly 300 battle tanks at the strategic Shakargarh sector in Punjab Province. The ‘Times Now’ report said that “some elements of Pakistan Army’s three brigades - 124 armoured brigade, 125 armoured brigade and 8 and 15 divisions continue to remain deployed in this area.” The report added that “Pakistan's 30 Corps are being supported by an independent armoured brigade. Citing government sources, the report further said that the offensive formation elements may be supported by infantry units.” 

Earlier in February, there were reports that the Indian Intelligence Agencies had got information about four ammunition dumps in the same Shakargarh Bulge. The construction of dumps was reportedly done in Kot, Satrah, Daska and Gujranwala areas of Shakargarh Bulge. “Any development in Shakargarh Buldge is very alerting. This area is very close to Pathankot, Kathua and India’s national highway-1 connecting Kashmir to the rest of country. In case of the war these dumps can play significant role,” a senior official working in defence establishment was quoted as saying by Zee.

Earlier, Francesca Marino, a foreign journalist, confirmed that up to 170 terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group were killed in the Indian Air Force air strikes on February 26. Marino earlier in an article wrote that eyewitnesses present at the site of India's February 26 bomb strikes against a JeM base saw up to 35 bodies were being transported out of the site by ambulance hours after the attack. The dead, they recounted, included 12 men who were said to have been sleeping in a single temporary shack, and several individuals who had earlier served in Pakistan's military.

“Based on the different inputs that have been gathered over the last several weeks through my contact, it can now also be safely said that the impact of the strike immediately killed a large number of JeM cadres. The numbers estimated have ranged from 130-170, including those who have died during treatment. Those killed included 11 trainers, ranging from bomb makers to those imparting weapons training. Two of these trainers were from Afghanistan,” Marino said in stringerasia.it   

“To prevent news on the fatalities leaking through statements of family members of cadres, a group of JeM members also visited the families of those killed and handed over cash compensation to them,” she added.

First Published: Saturday, May 18, 2019 09:48 PM
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