Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa has cleared the air as far as casualties of the air strikes is concerned . He has put the ball in the government’s court to tell the figures . The IAF does not count the dead, he added.
This was his first press conference after the air strikes in Balakot, Pakistan. Dhanoa said the death toll in the Balakot air strike depends on the number of people present at the target.
The air chief’s comments comes after BJP president Amit Shah claimed that over 250 terrorists had been killed by the air strikes carried out by the IAF at JeM terror camp.
When an adversary attacks you, every aircraft is used, Dhanoa said, adding that the MiG 21 Bison fighter jet used in the dogfight with Pakistan is an upgraded aircraft with advanced weapons system.
Referring to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan on 27 February as the India-Pakistan conflict escalated, Dhanoa said he can’t comment on the politics but was happy the officer was back home.
“We don’t take chances with the medical fitness of a pilot,” he said, adding Abhinandan would fly a fighter jet if he was fit.
All required treatment will be given to Wing Commander Abhinandan, Dhanoa said.
The air force, Dhanoa said, has to get its act together and find out what caused the mid-air clash ahead of the opening of the Bengaluru air show on 19 February and helicopter crash in Kashmir last week.
The Rafale jet should come into India’s inventory by September, the air chief marshal told reporters in his first comments since the 26 February Balakot air strike in Pakistan.