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Friday 5 June 2020

India-Pakistan tension spills over to sea

While this is a normal naval exercise by Pakistan about which it had issued an advisory three weeks ago, the armed forces of India are not taking chances

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India is closely watching the Pakistani naval exercises in the Arabian Sea. Pakistan will conduct rockets and missile firing at sea for the next few days. Reacting to the development, a vigilant India has deployed some warships, submarines and aircraft to patrol the maritime boundary as well as some top-of-the-line war planes.

Three weeks ago, Pakistan had issued an advisory that suggested that the entire operation would be monitored from the Remote Data Station (RDS), Mianwali at Ormara, which is adjacent to the Jinnah Naval Base of Pakistan Navy.

Since the virtual scrapping of Article 370 and withdrawal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the forever strained India-Pakistan relations have hit a new low. Islamabad has threatened a nuclear attack off and on even as the world is now used to Palistani efforts to project the region as a flashpoint.

If Pakistan dares, sources in the security establishment said, their exercises are being closely monitored. The Indian armed forces are ready for any situation arising out of a possible Pakistani misadventure, they said. Since the abolition of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the threat of attack by the Pakistan Army or its terrorist groups has increased. Sources said, “Though this Pakistan exercise is part of a normal process, their intention may change at any time.”

Pakistani exercise to continue till 29 Sept; India on alert

Pakistan has issued a meritime alert for cargo ships passing through the northern Arabian Sea, saying that it will be firing live missiles, rockets and guns from 25 to 29 September. Sources said that during this time, India will be watching every movement of Pakistan. If they were to attempt anything beyond the routine, they would be given a befitting reply, they said. The Indian Navy and Air Force are maintaining adequate arrangements for this.

The Indian Navy is using the Poseidon-8I patrol aircraft to monitor Pakistani manoeuvres. “There are at least seven to eight warships of Pakistan involved in their exercise,” a source said.

The IAF is prepared for an eventuality all the time since its strike on the training camps of terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot, Pakistan, on 26 February. Since the beginning of this month, a new bunch of terrorists, some 450-500 in number, has started surfaced in Balakot, as was stated by Gen Bipin Rawat last week based on military intelligence inputs. An officer said today, “Although there is no possibility of a military conflict, we still cannot take a chance.”

Last month, when the Shaheen VIII exercise had taken place between the Air Forces of Pakistan and China, India had made adequate preparations on its part.

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