“Old-fashioned human endeavour scored over satellites and radars in locating the wreckage of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu's chopper on Wednesday,” declared The Hindustan Times. – File Photo

NEW DELHI: A rare verbal sparring between the army chiefs of India and Pakistan over prospects of New Delhi planning an Abbottabad-like hot pursuit of alleged fugitives across the border was mellowed on Thursday by a helicopter tragedy in which India's satellites and highly-rated warplanes seemed to have got their sums wrong.

“Old-fashioned human endeavour scored over satellites and radars in locating the wreckage of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu's chopper on Wednesday,” declared The Hindustan Times.

It reported how on Wednesday, Luguthang village panchayat leader Thupten Tsering and some 40 others beat the satellite imagery of ISRO, India's prestigious space agency, and IAF Sukhoi-30s, infra-red aerial mapping to locate the wreckage at 16,000ft.

“Luguthang wasn't one of the eight spots, six in India and two in Bhutan, that ISRO and IAF zeroed in on as possible sites,” the Hindustan Times reported.

According to the paper, security forces spent the entire day on Tuesday trying to trek to two satellite-guided spots, one (Nagarjiji) in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh and the other north of Thongrong in Bhutan. They found nothing there.

Defence analysts said the number of sophisticated satellites evidently used in Sunday night's helicopter raid by US Navy SEAL commandos on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad should be humbling for most country's boasting high-tech military capacities.

However, the advice came late. Indian army chief Gen V.K. Singh was asked by a reporter on Wednesday if his forces had the capacity to launch a US-like operation in Pakistan. He replied that if there was a decision by the government to carry out a mission India's three services had the wherewithal to meet the challenge. This comment apparently riled Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

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