Pakistan jets increase air patrol fearing India’s retaliation for Handwara

Following the encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara, the Pakistan Air Force has increased its level of alertness fearing retaliatory action from India. Sources said Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 and JF-17 fighter aircraft are continuously patrolling border areas. The Indian defence forces are monitoring them with their surveillance system. The encounter, which took place on 2 May, left five security personnel, including Commanding Officer Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, martyred.

Sources said the increased patrolling by Pakistan is being interpreted as their assumption that a major retaliatory action would be taken by India following the terrorist attack. Top government sources revealed that, in view of these activities by Pakistan, the Indian forces are fully alert and every single activity of the PAF is being monitored. Indian Air Force airbases are also on full alert.

India is using the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to monitor Pakistani aircraft. Sources revealed that Pakistan is fearful of a strike at terrorist camps within its territory. In 2016, when Pakistan-backed terrorists carried out a terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri, India retaliated by carrying out a surgical strike, eliminating terrorist camps located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had tweeted that India can conduct a false flag operation.

In February 2019, India had shot down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter trying to sneak across the border. Following this, Pakistan had closed its airspace to India for several months. Over the last few days, terrorist activity has increased in Jammu and Kashmir. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan has been continuously firing and shelling across the Line of Control. Even before the encounter in Handwara, Pakistani aircraft were seen near the area.

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