New Delhi, Jun 24, 2019 : Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa on Monday said that Pakistan closing its airspace was a problem of the neighbouring country and did not affect India. Addressing mediapersons, the Air Chief Marshal said that the Indian Air Force made it a point that despite tensions with Pakistan, the civil aviation in the country remained unaffected, Zeenews reported.
Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa also talked about the Balakot airstrike, and the retaliation by Pakistan. He said that while the Indian Air Force was able to achieve its military objective, Pakistan failed to achieve the same, confirming that no Pakistani jet crossed over the Line of Control (LoC).
“They did not come into our airspace. The main thing that you should look at is what the objective of the military operation was. Our objective was to strike in Balakot and we achieved it. Their objective was to strike our army bases but they could not do it,” said the Air Chief Marshal.
He added, “That is the bottom line. How you did it? How many (jets) came? What kind of combat took place? But what matters is whether you fulfilled your military objective. We achieved our military objective, they did not achieve their objective. And let me tell you, none of them crossed the Line of Control.”
Referring to the 20 years of Kargil War, the IAF chief said that purpose of all attacks by India has always been to show “our resolve and capability”.
When asked about the issue of closing of airspace, the Air Chief Marshal clarified that India had stopped the Srinagar airspace for just two to three hours on February 27, thereby asserting that tension with Pakistan did not dictate India’s civil aviation.
“Only on 27 February (2019) we had stopped Srinagar airspace for 2-3 hours, rest of it we didn’t allow tension with Pakistan to dictate our civil aviation because our economy is much bigger and much stronger as compared to theirs,” he said.
“They (Pakistan) have closed their airspace that is their problem. Our economy is vibrant and air traffic is a very important part and you have noticed that Air Force has never stopped our civil air traffic,” he said.