Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan on Sunday said the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) would "thwart any misadventure by the enemy" and was ready to respond to any incursion with full force as per the aspirations of the nation, according to a press release issued by the PAF spokesperson.
While visiting the Foward Operating Airbases of the air force, Air Chief Marshal Khan said Pakistan was a "peace-loving nation" but warned that "if the war is imposed on us, we would defend the aerial frontiers of our motherland at any cost."
The air chief's statement comes amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following an attack on Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir's Pulwama district.
While interacting with the combat crew, he stressed that the PAF and other defence forces were "ever ready to take on all kinds of challenges with operational preparedness and immaculate synergy".
As per the press release, he also expressed satisfaction over the operational preparedness of the bases and lauded the high morale of the combat crew.
At least 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed in Pulwama on February 14 when a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden car into their convoy. According to media reports, Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility for the attack but New Delhi immediately blamed Islamabad and threatened a retaliatory attack. It also announced that it would launch a diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan in the international community. Moreover, India scrapped the Most Favoured Nation status granted to Pakistan and imposed a 200 per cent customs duty on its goods.
In response to India's allegations, Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to conduct an investigation if New Delhi provided “actionable evidence” but also warned that Pakistan will "retaliate" if attacked. On Friday, the Pakistan Army also warned India to avoid "any misadventure", as it could have dangerous consequences.
Army ready to defend motherland: COAS
Also on Sunday, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited troops along the Working Boundary near Sialkot.
The army chief during his visit appreciated the state of high morale and readiness of the troops, according to a tweet by Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations.
"There isn’t anything more sacred than defending the motherland. I take pride in leading an Army which is ever ready to perform this duty," Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying.