Itanagar: With alertness very high after the surgical strikes on militant camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the Uri attack, the Indian Air Force is aggressively upgrading infrastructure in the eastern sector, specially in Arunachal Pradesh.
IAF Eastern Air Command chief Hari Kumar said on Saturday that of the seven advanced landing grounds (ALGs) in Arunchal Pradesh, five have been made operational and two others will be ready by the end of the year.
Apart from the ALGs, the IAF is also building capabilities to enhance performance in that state, he said.
“Infrastructure development (in the eastern air command) has not kept pace with the rest of the world to allow us to have better equipment and better services that can be provided in this sector … When we look at the performance of any sector, we are looking at building up of capability. The capability to meet challenge and we are not looking up at any specific country as our competitor or our enemy,” he said.
“In addition to the MiG 27 and the Hawks squadrons, we (EAC) are going to get another as the Rafale deal has been signed,” Kumar said.
Expressing concern over Pakistan sponsoring cross-border terrorism, Kumar said, “If you’ll look at the western sector, Pakistan has made it a state policy to use unconventional warfare because they could not match the strength militarily. They use unconventional warfare wherein they are trying to hit us with a thousand wounds.”
He expressed optimism that what happened in the western sector need not take place in the eastern part.
“What happened in the west need not transfer to activity in the east. It is confined to that area and now we are waiting to what would be Pakistan’s reaction,” Kumar said.
He said, “Both countries don’t want a war. War is not good for anybody, but we cannot let any country dictate terms to us and kill our soldiers.”