Embarrassed India confers Vir Chakra military award on Abhinandan
The Indian government’s latest move is yet another attempt to mask the embarrassment that ensued in the wake of a failed military adventure.
Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman had been captured by the Pakistan forces during his foiled intruding in Pakistani.
According to details of the Indian strategical airstrike on Pakistan on 26 February 2019, Indian fighter jets intruded into Pakistan’s air space and dropped payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
In response to this blatant territorial violation, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) carried out Operation Swift Retort on 27 February 2019 and locked Indian military installations in IIOJK but dropped payload nearby to avoid human casualties.
Roaring PAF warplanes shot down two Indian fighter jets in a dogfight resulting capturing of one Indian pilot, then Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Later he was freed after offering ‘tea’ as a good neighbouring host of India.
On the morning of 27 Feb 2019, PAF fighter jets struck around key targets in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in broad daylight and shot down two Indian fighter jets in a dogfight that ensued after they attempted to intrude into Pakistani airspace again.
PAF shot down two Indian Mig-21 Bison inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) while the other fell inside Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK). One Indian pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, was arrested by Pakistan Army troops on the ground. He was later released as a peace gesture by Pakistan.
India conspicuously violated Article 2(4) of the UN Charter which prohibits states from violating the territorial integrity of a nation-state.
India has a history of undue incidents occurring before any important activity on the Indian political landscape where it could use the event to blame Pakistan and charge the domestic audience. Likewise, the Pulwama incident did not come as a surprise to many as India was about to go in another round of state elections. A leaked transcript of WhatsApp messages between Arnab Goswami, a senior Indian anchor, and Pratho Dasgupta confirms an unholy alliance between Modi, Military and Media (an axis of evil).
After the Balakot strike, India met another embarrassment when it claimed to have killed a “very large number of terrorists” but was unable to provide proof. On the other side, Pakistan opened up the area for local and international journalists to visit and see themselves if there were any training camps or dead bodies.
The Vir Chakra award to Abhinandan was given on the pretext that he shot down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet. Ironically, Pakistan never used F-16 fighter planes in the entire Operation Swift Retort which was also confirmed by the US Defense Department official.
Pakistan not only unmasked the Indian myth of conventional superiority but also showed its will, resolve and capacity to defend its territorial integrity. And, Pakistan remains determined to thwart any inimical design in the future.
To conclude, India’s latest action to award Abhinandan Vir Chakra is an extension of the Indian disinformation campaign. It is primarily designed to feed a domestic audience and wash away the embarrassment that India faced during the standoff with Pakistan in February 2019. It also shows India’s dubious standard for such a high-grade military award.