Pakistan air force, army on full alert; entire squadron of F-16 fighters deployed along front

New Delhi: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is on full operational alert with an entire squadron of F-16 fighters deployed along its eastern front two weeks after India’s air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp in Balakot.

Top defence and government officials said on condition of anonymity that while Pakistani air space restrictions continue along the country’s borders with India, the Rawalpindi headquartered 10 Corps along with a Special Forces brigade from Sialkot of the Pakistan Army have been deployed all along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

‘Indian military ready to respond to any exigency’

The officials did not provide details of the Indian deployment along the LoC but said that the Indian military is also not taking any chances and is ready to respond to any exigency.

“We have confirmed reports that PAF’s F-16 acquired from both US and Jordan are on high alert all along India-Pak border—from Hyderabad in Sindh to Skardu in Northern Areas. The Pak Army deployment including radars and air defence system along the LoC was strengthened immediately after the February 14 Pulwama attack as they expected Indian retaliation similar to that of the surgical strike,” said one of the officials, referring to India’s 2016 counterstrike on terror installations within Pakistan after the terror strike on Uri, also by JeM.

According to the officials, say Pakistan immediately reacted to the February 26 strike by intensifying shelling on that day itself and targeted Sunderbani, Naushera, Poonch, Bhimber Gali and Krishnaghati sectors repeatedly. There have been a total of 467 ceasefire violations in the past two months.