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'Pakistan in awe of IAF capabilities'

SU-30 MKI is one of world's most potent fighters today. An IAF photo

GUWAHATI (BNS): Pakistan is in awe of Indian Air Force’s capabilities, says the chief of the Western Air command, which is responsible for most parts of the Indo-Pak border.

Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Delhi-based Western Air Command, Air Marshal PK Barbora, said on Wednesday here that the IAF has already identified over 5000 targets in Pakistan for attacks in case of a war. Besides, special groups are ready to take on specific targets in Pakistan, he said.

“Intelligence inputs gathered, especially post-Mumbai terror strikes, indicated that the neighbouring country is more concerned about the potent nature of the IAF than that of the Indian Army, in which it enjoys parity in strength,” Barbora said at a media meet.

“Pakistan does not have SU-30 MKI, which is considered as the most powerful of the fourth-generation aircraft,” Barbora stated. He said the IAF, which currently has 100 of them, was planning to induct 200 SU-30 MKIs in total.

Barbora said war only the last option, but the IAF was willing to take on any responsibility. He said it would take just a couple of hours for IAF to man its bases and carry out its tasks.

He said a war would be declared only after the Government fails to “reap the desired results from the first three available options, which are diplomatic solution, appeal to the international community for finding an amicable solution, and thirdly opting for track-two diplomacy.”

Barbora said, “We need to try all options before opting for a war. As there is instability in most of the neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, war is not the preferred option.”

Further Pakistan’s economy was in turmoil and is going through “brunt of the economic meltdown in a bigger way than India and once the war is on, the scenario would further deteriorate,” Barbora said.

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