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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Drone uproar in India: A ploy to coerce the IAF?

According to Amjed Jaaved, the drone attack on the Jammu air station is a hoax. There is no evidence to corroborate its occurrence. However, it is being hyped in Indian media to portray the IAF as an incompetent force.

Neither the Indian Air Force (IAF) tweet, nor the First Information Report mentioned a drone attack at the Jammu air Station. A preliminary investigation by India’s elite National Investigation Agency also announced that no debris of any drone or UAV has been found on the scene of the incident.

India, nowadays, sees drones everywhere, even hovering over the Indian High Commission at Islamabad. Yet, it has so far hesitated to blame Pakistan or any Pakistani militant group for the mysterious drone attack.

In spite of this bitter truth, India’s Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat in his YouTube interview openly blames Pakistan for the drone attack in Jammu. When asked why he did not order a retaliatory action, he replied that he would have retaliated if there had been any damage to the assets (helicopters or other aircraft parked at the Jammu air station).

Read more: India tries to build narrative against Pakistan on IIOJK drone drama

It is eerie that neither the IAF nor the investigating agencies have as yet found evidence of any drone attack. Yet, the CDS presumes that a drone attack has in fact taken place. He implied that Pakistan deliberately avoided harming any of the aircraft. Pakistan just wanted to convey a message to India of a paradigm shift in techniques of warfare.

The CDS ignored the fact that a drone needed a launching pad nearby. But, there was no suitable place around the air station up to even 16 kilometers off.


India boasts that it has developed anti-drone systems indigenously. Its Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will soon install these systems on all important installations. To be effective, these systems need to be enforced through help from all three services. A maritime anti-drone system also has been developed.

Purpose of the drone hype

India has been persistently complaining that Pakistan uses drones to drop fake money, drugs, arms, and explosives. The factual position is that India is far off from developing any such anti-drone systems. If they had any such system, they should have used it to hit drones trespassing the Indian Territory.

The tone and tenor of the Indian media and the CDS Rawat have marked similarities. The underlying purpose is to assure the gullible Indians that Rawat’s idea of “integrated theatres” will safeguard India against all land, air, and sea attacks.

Read more: Indian media uses fake video of IAF incursion in Pakistan

The presumption is that the Jammu air station could not detect, or shoot down the intruder drone as it had no anti-drone cover within the framework of “integrated theatres”. To push over the IAF, Rawat has stipulated about a year’s deadline for completion of the “theatres”.  He has created the impression in the Indian minds that the IAF has “thrown the spanner in the theatre works.”

Indian chief’s stance on the IAF drone attack

In an interview with India Today, the IAF chief dispelled the impression. He however did admit that he has reservations about the “theatres” he added that he had expressed his point of view during official deliberations.

Rawat was asked whether the legislation would be necessary for the idea of the “theatres”. He replied that no legislation was necessary as this idea was enshrined in the Kargil Review Committee report. He lamented that despite a lapse of about twenty years since the Kargil episode, the idea was still to take off.

Read more: Impact of Kargil Conflict 1999 on Pakistan’s Current Security Perspective

Indian CDS Rawat wants to emerge as a super general by commanding the “theatre commands”. The IAF has misgiving that the command would whittle down the IAF’s decision-making authority. The CDS makes no bones in claiming that the IAF was just a supporting arm. It is supposed to assist the other services in operations.

Mr. Amjed Jaaved has been contributing freelance for over fifty years. His articles are published in dailies at home (The News, Nation, etc) and abroad (Nepal. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, et. al.). He is the author of eight books including Kashmir: The Myth of Accession. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.