We suffered 'no damage' in Balakot air strike: Pakistan Army

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.

Published: 29th April 2019 07:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2019 11:02 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistan's army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor . (File photo |AP)

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's military on Monday once again claimed that there was "no damage" in the Balakot air strike carried out by India and asserted that it will facilitate the Indian journalists if they wish to visit the area to "see the truth".

Addressing a press conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor alleged that India had been "lying repeatedly" and Pakistan has not responded to those lies.

"Since the last two months, India has been continuing to lie. As a responsible country we have not responded to their lies," he said.

"The truth is that there was an incident in Pulwama. Attacks on the police in Pulwama have happened before. There was no damage at our end in Balakot. We took local and foreign media there to show them. We will facilitate Indian media if they choose to come to Balakot to see the truth," Ghafoor was quoted as saying by Geo News.

ALSO READ | Pakistan admits presence of terrorists in its territory

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in aerial combat and captured an IAF pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.

Ghafoor said Pakistan was waiting for the appropriate time to "honour our pilots who downed the Indian planes".

"India has not said what happened in Pakistan's counter-strike," he said. The Army spokesperson also warned India not to test Pakistan's resolve. "India must not test Pakistan's resolve. It is not 1971 anymore," he said.

ALSO READ | No bilateral meeting between Imran, Putin in Beijing a big diplomatic failure: Pakistan Newspaper

After the aerial confrontation, India said one of its MiG-21 fighter jets downed a Pakistani F-16 before itself being shot down on February 27.

Pakistan, however, has consistently denied the Indian Air Force's claim, saying none of its aircraft was shot down during the weeks of tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries.

Pakistan also claims to have shot a second Indian Air Force jet during the engagement, a claim India has dismissed.

"We downed two Indian planes in the process, the whole world saw their debris and you [India] still claimed that one of the two planes was ours and one of our own pilots died, as we had initially said that two Indian pilots had been captured, and then said that there was only one.

You [India] said that we have changed our statement because one pilot was our own," Ghafoor said.

"We got initial information through the proper channel, then on the ground, I personally found out that only one person had been captured and I sent out the correction myself. How is it that you are ready to accept one of our statement, not the other?" he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

READ HERE | Did Pak use F-16 post-Balakot? US says can't share info with India

"We have not retaliated because we want peace we asked you [India] to ask America about our F-16s' strength. In this day and age, hiding the downing of a plane is impossible. In this time, even if a motorcycle crashes the world finds out," he added.

Ghafoor also criticised India for using the threat of nuclear weapons, saying they were "weapon(s) of deterrence".

He said India should to change its attitude towards Pakistan instead of asking "us to change attitude".

Ghafoor also accused India of funding Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a tribal region based rights group, to destabilise Pakistan.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp