Abhinandan’s release: Ex-IAF chief on why Pak army chief was ‘shaking, sweating’ | India News – Times of India
“The way he (Pakistan MP) is saying that ‘Pair kaanp rahe the’ (legs were trembling). It is because our military posture was very offensive,” the former air chief was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq revealed in the National Assembly that foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that India would attack Pakistan “by 9pm” if the country did not release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
“I remember Qureshi was in the meeting which Imran Khan had refused to attend … the chief of army staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was perspiring. The foreign minister said for God’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9pm”, Sadiq said.
The 37-year-old IAF pilot was captured by the Pakistani army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat. The incident took place a day after IAF jets bombed the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) terror camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan to avenge the Pulwama terror attack.
Reacting to Sadiq’s remarks, Dhanoa said that following the Balakot incident, India was in a position to wipe out Pakistan’s forward brigades.
“God forbid … had they hit some of our military installations, we were in a position to wipe out their forward brigades. They know what is our capability,” he said.
“Abhinandan’s father and I served together. So, when Abhinandan ejected I told him that we could not get Ahuja back, but will definitely get Abhinandan back. During the Kargil war, my flight commander Ahuja was captured and shot dead. That was playing on my mind. I told him that there are two parts. The main pressure on Pakistan was diplomatic and political. But there was also a military posture,” Dhanoa told ANI.
The former IAF chief said that the Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorists and their Pakistani handlers were scared following the Balakot attack as they knew that India can hit them in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) as well as in Pakistan.
“Till the time Indian elections got over, there was nothing because they knew the response is going to be very swift. We were deployed in this manner that we could respond at a very short notice. It is very good for the morale that he was released at such a short period of time and he came back unharmed,” he said.
Abhinandan was returned to India from the Attari-Wagah border on March 1, 2019. He was awarded the Vir Chakra on Independence Day by President Ram Nath Kovind for his exemplary bravery.