ISLAMABAD: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan on Saturday said Pakistan Air Force (PAF) proved its capability equal to Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of being second to none on the occasion of Operation Swift Retort on February 27, 2019 and established our supremacy in the air.
Addressing the second anniversary of Operation Swift Retort commemorated as Surprise Day here at Air Headquarters, he said “Thanks to Almighty Allah that the PAF had deterred the aggressor (India) who gravely miscalculated and challenged our sovereignty”.
The Air Chief said on the strength of our capability and resolve PAF responded in a manner that made our nation proud.
He also appreciated all PAF personnel for their professionalism, valour and commitment during Operation Swift Retort.
Pakistan is a responsible and peace loving nation and its armed forces are prepared to defend its territorial integrity at all costs.”
He said our efforts for global and regional peace particularly in Afghanistan, middle east and UN peace keeping missions were being acknowledged by the international community.
“One such manifestation of peace was witnessed by the world through unconditional return of the captured Indian pilot by the government of Pakistan.”
The Air Chief emphasized: “However, let me make it clear that our desire for peace should not be misunderstood. In case of any misadventure, our response would be swift, resolute and unwavering.”
He also expressed his pleasure that in the wake of historic operation Swift Retort PAF remained proactive for maintaining peace and deterring aggression despite the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic. “PAF resolve and determination during the pandemic was remarkable”, he added.
The Air Chief again extended his gratitude to Almighty Allah for a successful fight against Covid-19 contagion outbreak in the country.
He said: “Thanks to Almighty Allah, our well deliberated strategy, its successful implementation and team work yielded dividends while being committed to recollect, reconnect, recharge and thinking to win PAF maintained highest level of operational preparedness besides ensuring safety of its personnel which is commendable.”
Addressing the PAF personnel, the Air Chief said: “You must take pride in the sacred responsibility of national defence. We must keep our assets ready and available all the times.”
He underscored that the country was confronted with numerous challenges which demanded our capabilities for timely response. “We must remain on guard to defend ourselves on ground and in air.”
The Air Chief mentioned that PAF was continuously endeavoring to augment its potential in all spectrum operations and pursuing modernization through indigenous efforts. “We pledge to protect our sacred homeland and defend the hard earned independence with our lives.”
He also reiterated that we stood by our Kashmiri brethren and their just struggle for self determination. “It is time to bring an end to the atrocities and longest lockdown of more than one and half year.”
A documentary was also displayed on the occasion highlighting the circumstances leading to an Indian Air Force airstrike at Balakot and its subsequent rapid response by the PAF in the shape of Operation Swift Retort leaving Indian forces badly humiliated and defeated in the encounter.
Former Air Chiefs and a large number of PAF officials witnessed the ceremony.
Earlier, a smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Air Force presented the Guard of Honour.
Another important event of the ceremony was a spectacular fly past by two formations of PAF fighter aircraft including F-16, JF-17, F-7 and Mirage.
The ceremony was rounded off with soulful performance by the young students of Fazaia School and College.