Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that one cannot possibly speculate on what will happen next following the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike across the Line of Control (LoC) as there was no information of the damage caused.
“Unless we know which Balakote is being talked about by the Pakistani generals it’s pointless speculating about what we may have hit and what fallout the airstrike will have,” Abdullah tweeted after Pakistan claimed that IAF jets crossed the LoC, and dropped a payload in haste before returning as the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) scrambled its war planes.
“If this is Balakote in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) it’s a major incursion and a significant strike by IAF planes.
“However, if it’s Balakote in Poonch sector, along the LoC it’s a largely symbolic strike because at this time of the year forward launch pads and militant camps are empty and non-functional,” he added.
The Vice President of the National Conference (NC) also spoke of a possible fallout over the air strikes.
“The problem now becomes Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitment to his country — ‘Pakistan will not think about responding, Pakistan will respond’.
“What shape will response take? Where will response be? Will India have to respond to Pakistan’s response?,” Omar Abdullah asked, voicing his concern about what happens next.
Abdullah’s tweets came as the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) was meeting at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence.
Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asif Ghafoor confirmed in a tweet early Tuesday about the IAF incursion. The alleged incident took place in the Muzaffarabad sector, claimed Radio Pakistan.
Tuesday’s development follows a suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14 that killed 40 troopers.
The attack was claimed by Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and prompted a spike in tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.