Modi ridiculed for 'radar and clouds' comments on Balakot incident

Indian prime minister believed increased cloud cover could help IAF jets escape radar detection

News Desk May 12, 2019
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PHOTO: FILE

Indian opposition leaders criticised and ridiculed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for remarks he made on clouds and radars in relation to the Balakot airstrike, India Today reported.

In a recent TV interview, the Indian prime minister described how he believed that Indian jets could escape radar detection due to increased cloud cover at the time of the aerial operation.

IAF tacitly admits Balakot airstrike did not go according to plan

Modi claimed the conundrum of whether or not to change the date of the operation was settled when he ultimately made the decision to go ahead with it.

The Indian prime minister did, however, acknowledge that he was not an expert on the matter.

India's opposition parties wasted little time picking up on Modi's gaffe. "On PM Modi's radar and clouds comment, it seems no one clarified for the PM how radars work," said Salman Soz, an Indian Congress party member. "If that is the case, then it is a very serious national security issue. No laughing matter!"

His party also composed poetry and shared via party twitter handle.

"Pakistani radar doesn't penetrate clouds," said a sarcastic Omar Abdullah, vice-president of Indian occupied Kashmir's National Conference party. "This is an important piece of tactical information that will be critical when planning future airstrikes."

Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said Modi's words were "truly shameful" because they "insult our air force as being ignorant and unprofessional".

Former Indian naval chief criticises Modi for politicising armed force

After initial chest-thumping, the Indian Air Force last month finally come around to tacitly admitting that its so-called ‘surgical’ airstrike on Balakot did not go according to plan.

An IAF report on ‘lessons learnt’ – covered by The Hindustan Times and other Indian news outlets – acknowledged that changes in software made by Indian technicians to integrate new weapon systems with the Mirage 2000 aircraft used to carry out the strike ‘did not completely work’.

The report followed the Indian external affairs minister’s admission that no Pakistani citizens or military personnel were killed or injured in the action.

It also appeared to support the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s assessment that the precision-guided munitions (PGMs) used in the strike were incorrectly programmed to fly precisely into their targets.


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