Pakistan is marking the 4th anniversary of Operation Swift Retort, popularly known as Surprise day in the country when the country’s Armed forces gave a befitting response to Indian Airforce misadventures, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Monday.
In a statement on the fourth anniversary of Operation Swift Retort, the Director-General of ISPR Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry the daring, resolute and measured response from Pakistan thwarted Indian nefarious designs on February 27, 2019. Let this day be a reminder that while being a peace-loving nation, Pakistan Armed Forces are ever ready, not only to defend every inch of the motherland.
“CJCSC, Services Chiefs & AFs of Pak pay tribute to the resilience of nation & resolve of AFs displayed during Operation Swift Retort. Under the pretext of false flag Pulwama attack, India stage managed a cowardly attack on a fictitious target,” Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said.
Operation Swift Retort
Operation Swift Retort was a military operation conducted by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on February 27, 2019, in response to Indian Air Force’s (IAF) airstrikes on Balakot, Pakistan on February 26, 2019. The operation was named after a verse from the Quran and was aimed at demonstrating Pakistan’s capabilities and resolve to defend its territorial integrity. It is a memorable day for Pakistan as Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shattered the Indian dream of invincibility and military supremacy by shooting down two Indian aircraft and above all capturing an IAF pilot.
During the operation, Indian jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC), which is the de facto border between India and Pakistan, and the country’s military claimed to have conducted a “surgical strike” in the Balakot area in Pakistan.
New Delhi also claimed to destroy a terrorist camp with 300-350 casualties in the attack. Pakistan denied the claim, saying neither was there any camp nor any casualty.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets on the other day crossed the LoC in a tit-for-tat move to Indian territory, and in a dogfight. During the engagement, an Indian MiG-21 was shot down, and the pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured by the Pakistani military.
After striking down the Indian fighter jet, Pakistan arrested the pilot, who ejected himself after being hit in the airspace of Pakistan in Azad Jammu and Kashmir
The incident escalated tensions between India and Pakistan, leading to a brief military standoff. However, Wing Commander Abhinandan was released as a gesture of goodwill by Pakistan on March 1, 2019.
Premier Tribute to Armed Forces
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has lauded the Armed Forces and PAF for a swift response to the Indian violation of Pakistani airspace in 2019, saying the nation pays rich tribute to the Air force.
The premier wrote: “Today the nation pays rich tribute to PAF for a befitting response to the Indian violation of Pakistan’s air space on the pretext of false flag Pulwama attack. While we aim for peace with all, we are mindful of our duty to defend the country. Let no one make any mistake about it.”
Former PM Statement
In a statement on Twitter, former prime minister Imran Khan said that on 27 Feb 2019, his govt ordered a response to the Indian air strike on Balakot with PAF air strikes on Indian military targets in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK).
The PAF downed an IAF plane over Pakistan air space capturing the pilot, he added.
“We were successful in choosing a limited military response signalling a clear message to India.”