While Twitter has been lauding the Indian Air Force and its brave pilots for fearlessly carrying out the strike on terror camps in Pakistan, social media users also had a field day trolling Pakistan Defence Minister Pervez Khattak for saying that the forces were ready to retaliate to the IAF attack, but "it was dark."
Khattak made the statement while talking to reporters about the IAF's early morning attack in Balakot, in which 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft dropped about 1,000 kilogram of bombs and demolished several terror camps — including the Jaish-e-Mohammed training centre. While the exact figures are not yet available, the strike is believed to have killed approximately 300 terrorists.
In the video clip shared by Pakistani journalists on social media, Khattak is heard saying thus: "Our air force was ready, but since it was happening in the night and it was dark, they could not gauge the extent of the damage... So they waited and now they have received clear directions..." Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, seen sitting next to him added: "May I just add. The Pakistan Air Force was already air-bound. We were ready for all eventualities."
The authenticity of the video hasn't been verified, but Twitter users have since been mocking Khattak for his bizarre statement. Here are a few comments
Proud to have such a our powerful IAF solute......— siddutalur (@imsiddutalur) February 27, 2019
According to Pak Defence Minister, Pak Air Force was ready to retaliate, but they failed to do so due to darkness! Appreciate the honesty & frankness of the minister which is essential for improving Indo Pak relation!
It was cold too— Indian Nomad (@Sharad3Panwar) February 26, 2019
Angrezi mein bolne se izzat nahi bache gi z aur defence minister ko chavanprash khilao ??— Praveen Kumar (@pkumar80) February 26, 2019
This boneless kebab is the defense minister.— YSC (@YSC_JAIHIND) February 26, 2019
Pakistan had initially said that the IAF had violated its airspace and the Pakistan military claimed that Indian jet dropped a payload at Balakot, but did not cause any damage. The Pakistan armed forces spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor went on to say that the army had a "timely and effective" response to the violation, after which the IAF jets "escaped" the region. "Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back," Major General Ghafoor's tweet read. "Details to follow," he added.
However, Indian sources told ANI that Pakistan did scramble a few of its F-16 jets, but they eventually returned after seeing the size of the IAF's formation. A video that appeared on Twitter also showed an JF-17 Thunder jet taking off into the night sky to apparently retaliate against the IAF Mirage 2000s, but the footage could not be verified as authentic.
Islamabad has now said that it will respond to the IAF attack. "The response will surely come," the Pakistan defence minister said, while Ghafoor added: "We will surprise you, wait for that surprise. Response will come differently."