SRINAGAR: The Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, said on Wednesday that the IAF’s response in case of another Pulwama-type attack orchestrated from across the LoC would be “very robust” and that “there will be no status quo”.

Talking to reporters at Technical Airport Srinagar on the first anniversary of “Operation Balakot”, the Chief of Air Staff said it was “really good to be with the boys” and fly a mission with them. “The spirit of the Air Force is very high,” he said. Bhadauria landed in Srinagar after flying a MiG- 21 of 51 Squardon with Gp Capt Nazeer along with a Mirage 2000 and Sukho-30 MKI to mark the first anniversary of the IAF’s Balakot airstrikes. He said the Mirages were present at a drill to represent their own fleet.

Responding to a query about the strategy adopted by the IAF after the Pulwama Fidayeen attack on February 14 last year that saw 40 CRPF men killed, he said: “The message (to Pakistan) was clear at the government level — that any attacks orchestrated from across the LoC will not be acceptable at all.” He said various intelligence agencies had formulated a strategy and the IAF was given targets located across the LoC, including the terrorist training camps at Balakot. “The operation was conducted professionally,” he said.

Asked what if there was a repeat of a Pulwama-type attack, the Chief of Air Staff said, “There will be no status quo, and the response will be very robust.”

“Various agencies are monitoring the activities of militant camps across and, if there is a repeat of a Pulwama-type attack, the Air Force is ready to take on any target, be it close, deep or surface.”

“We had a review post-Pulwama attack followed by more reviews where we discussed threat analyses that require different handling. Today we have better weapons, communication and other things on board,” he said.

The air chief said that 51 Squardon’s Wg Cdr Abhinandan’s exploits demonstrated the spirit of the IAF. “They had no hesitation in engaging vastly superior aircraft (Pakistan Air Force F-16s, compared to IAF’s MiG-21) in terms of technology and weapons. The IAF is proud of them,” he said

Meanwhile, Army Chief General M M Naravane visited forward posts along the LoC on Wednesday and chaired a security review meeting at the Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps HQ in his first visit to Kashmir after taking over as Chief of Army Staff.

The Army chief was accompanied by the Northern Army commander, Lt Gen Y K Joshi, and GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen K J S Dhillon while visiting formations and units deployed along the LoC.

“The Army was briefed by local commanders on the situation on the LoC, ceasefire violations, our retaliations, counter-infiltration operations and operational preparedness being maintained,” a defence spokesman said.

He said that during the Army chief’s interaction with soldiers on the snow-clad heights, he was appreciative of their sharp vigil and high morale. “The Army chief also exhorted the soldiers to remain alert for any eventuality,” the defence spokesman said.

“The Army chief also interacted with senior officials of the administration and the security forces. He also met members of civil society,” the defence spokesman said.