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Balakot Was to Tell Pak Terror Attacks Come at Cost: Ex-IAF Chief
12/15/2019 10:22:49 AM
The Balakot air strike was meant to warn the Pakistani establishment and terrorist organisations that terror attacks against India would not go unanswered, said former Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa.

He was speaking during a discussion on ‘Understanding The Message of Balakot’ on the second day of the Military Literature Festival organised here by the Punjab government and the Chandigarh administration.

“The message of Balakot, therefore, was to tell Pakistani establishments and terror organisations that there will be a cost to pay for terror attacks in India which was effectively conveyed,” said Dhanoa.

However, he said, “on our side... (there were) stupid mistakes for which remedial measures have been taken and people responsible will be punished.”

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Dhanoa did not share any details about what the ‘stupid mistakes’ were.

He also said, “We could not impose significant costs on PAF (Pakistan Air Force) on 27 of February (when the Pakistan Air Force retaliated a day after the Balakot strike).”

Dhanoa asserted that there was a paradigm shift in the way the Indian government responds to terrorist attacks involving mass casualties. He pointed out that there was no military response from the Indian state after the 1993 bomb blast in Mumbai and the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

“The first response came after terror attack at Uri in 2016 and it was retaliated by the Army with an attack on destroying terror launch pads inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir,” said Dhanoa, who retired from service on 30 September.

“Pakistan got the message that the new government will respond militarily to a major terror attack on its soil,” he further said.

Dhanoa said that after the Pulwama attack in February in which 40 people were killed, the Pakistani establishment had feared that there would be retaliation. “There were only two questions -- when and where the retaliation will take place,” he said.

A decision was taken to strike a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot area as the terror organisation was behind the Pulwama attack.
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