India concerned over 42 terror camps exiting in Pak

February 28th, 2010 - 10:44 pm ICT by ANI  

By Praful Kumar Singh

Pokhran, Feb.28 (ANI): Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Sunday said India is concerned about the 42 terror camps existing across the border even after Mumbai terror attacks and Pakistan’s non serious approach to dismantle them.

Speaking during the Operation Vayu Shakti 2010 programme organized here, Antony said: “Our real concern is existence of terror camps intact across the border after 26/11 attack. There are 42 terror camps. And there has been no serious effort to dismantle these camps.”

Commenting on the recent Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, Antony said that India’s decision to hold talks was a conscious decision and the country’s concerns have been conveyed through it to Pakistan.

“We took a conscious decision to have foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan. We never expected miracle from the talks. We have conveyed our concerns to Foreign Secretary of Pakistan,” he said.

However, speaking about the objective of Operation Vayu Shakti 2010 today, Antony said: ” The exercise is not meant to send signals to any country. It was meant to ensure the nation and show capability of our armed forces that we are in the safe hands.”

“We are not war-mongers. We shouldn’t be worried about threats from any quarters. The exercise was meant to showcase jointness of the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy,” the Defence minister added.

The Operation Vayu Shakti 2010 progamme held here on Sunday was attended by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and the three service chiefs, besides senior officers of the armed forces witnessed the firepower demonstration of the Air Force.

Defence attaches of 28 countries including the US, UK, France also witnessed the preparedness of the IAF.

The programme showcased the tremendous firepower demonstration of the Indian Air Force in three parts — during the day, at dusk and at night, which is essential for the IAF’s success in any battle.

Today, in order to control the air space of the Thar Desert, the area was battered by thousands of tonnes of TNT as combat aircraft and attack helicopeters of the IAF carried out the biggest ever exercise of live bombing, using air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

Almost every branch of the Air Force contributed to the mission. The IAF fighters blasted simulated targets on the ground with a breath-taking display of aerial combat.

The FPD saw frontline fighter aircraft like Su-30 MKI, Mirage-2000, Jaguar, MiG-21 and MiG-29. The supporting transport fleet included AN-32, Embraer and IL-76, while Mi-17 1V and Mi-35 attack helicopters constituted the rotary wing ingredients.

For the first time, Phalcon AWACS (air-borne warning and control system) were used to monitor the huge exercise, while an unmanned aerial vehicle streamed live video images of the target destruction. Another force multiplier - IL 78 mid air refueller - was also used in the exercise.

A total of 107 aircrafts participated in the exercise. Some of them getting airborne from far off bases like Agra, Bareily and Nagpur besides from bases in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

In addition, the Akash Ganga, the IAF’s parajumping team and IAF’s Garuda Force performed their dare devil stunts to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

The entire show, which was televised live across the country, was the outcome of a month-long planning, preparation and practice by the IAF pilots, engineers and the armament technicians who worked together to make the show a grand success.

The operation took place at Chandan field firing range at Pokharan, which is spread in 99,000 acres. (ANI)

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