Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Thursday said that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) continues to remain a thorn in our flesh till date.
Air Chief Marshal Raha said India has been reluctant in the use of military power, especially Aero space power or air power in deterring our advisories or deterring a conflict.
“And when involved in a conflict into which we have been drawn into several times in the past. We did not apply us adequately in achieving the end state after the conflict is over. In 1947 immediately after the independence, hoards of raiders from across the border supported by the military and the government from across the border tried to overrun the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
“The Indian Army on ground was not strong enough, they did not have enough boots on ground to react to this. and prevent them from over running Indian territory. I think it was the Indian Air Force’s transport wing.which came to the help and retrieved the situation,” he added.
Stating that large number of troops, military equipment, weapons and logistics were brought into Srinagar, Poonch, Leh and other areas, Air Chief Marshal Raha said, “And this air bridging was carried out for several months and this effort of the Indian Air Force with the transport wing as well as the fighter air craft were involved in attacking the raiders during the day time to stop their advancement.”
He said the Indian Air Force, therefore, played a very important role in helping the Indian Army to push the raiders back.
“And when military solution was insight or taking moral high ground and I think we went to the United Nations for a peaceful solution to this problem. But the problem still continues, PoK remains a thorn in our flesh even today,” he added.
The Air Chief pointed out that air power went under neutralized during the Chinese aggression in 1962 because of the mindset of the fear of escalation.
“In 1965 conflict, we did not use air power against Pakistan because of political reasons. Despite several attacks by the Pakistani Air Force operating from east Pakistan, attacking our air bases and infrastructure and air craft on ground, we had serious setbacks but we never retaliated because of political reasons,” he added.
“The only time when aero space power was fully utilized was in 1971 conflict when the Indian Air Forces capability and efforts and operations were integrated nicely in a well-synergised coordinated manner with the Indian Army and the navy and the results were there to seen by the entire world. The creation of Bangladesh in just about 15 days of conflict,” he added.
Stating that the situation has now changed, Air Chief Marshal Raha further said the nation is ready to use aero space power to defend itself and prevent a conflict in the region.
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