New Delhi, Oct 29: Former IAF chief BS Dhanoa has said that Pakistan had no option but to release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in February 2019 when his MiG-21 was downed in a dogfight in Kashmir.
Speaking to news agency ANI, he said that Pakistan was well aware of India’s capability and that Indian armed forces were prepared to wipe out Pakistan’s forward brigades.
“There are two parts to it. The main pressure on Pakistan was diplomatic and political. But there was also a military posture, the way he (Pakistan MP Ayaz Sadiq) is saying that ‘his legs (General Bajwa) were shaking and all’, it is because the military posture was very offensive of all the three services, Army, Navy, Air Force,” Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa (retired) said.
“And God forbid had they hit our installations on February 27, we were also in a position to wipe out their forward brigades. They know our capability. Basically, if this thing is there in their mind that we are likely to strike, they first look at how their own military is doing. The American President Theodore Roosevelt used to say, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’. So the big stick was the military,” he added.
Wing Commander Abhinandan’s MiG-21 was shot down by Pakistani Air force jets on February 27 and he was captured by the Pakistani forces. The Imran Khan government on March 1 released the IAF pilot.
Former IAF chief’s remark comes after PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq in a speech in the National Assembly said that Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s legs were shaking while Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a meeting that India was about to attack their country in February 2019. According to Ayaz, Qureshi pointed out that if Islamabad did not release Abhinandan, New Delhi will attack Pakistan “that night by 9 pm.