Speaking at an aerospace function in New Delhi, Raha lamented that air power was not being used by the government as it was in earlier wars.
“India as country was reluctant to use military power, especially air power in deterring adversaries, in deterring a conflict and when involved in conflict the country has been draw into several times in the past,” Raha said.
He further added that, “When hordes of raiders attacked Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, it was the transport planes of the Indian Air Force which helped Indian soldiers and equipment to reach the battleground. And when a military solution was in sight, taking moral high grounds, I think we went to the UN for a peaceful solution to this problem. The problem still continues. PoK remains a thorn in our flesh today.”
Air Chief Arup Raha further pointed out that India didn’t utilize air power during the 1962 Chinese war thinking that the war would escalate further while in the 1965 Pakistan war they did not use air power due to political compulsions.
“In the 1965 conflict, we did not use air power against Pakistan because of political reasons. Despite several attacks by the Pakistan Air Force operating from East Pakistan, attacking our bases and infrastructure and our ground air crafts, we had serious setbacks but we never retaliated because of political reasons,” Indian Air Force Chief Arup Raha said while speaking at the Aerospace Seminar in Delhi.
Raha further said that in the changing dynamics of war and conflict India is now ready to use air power to defend itself and prevent any conflict in the region.
The Indian Air Force Chief’s latest remarks on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the capability of air power to solve the conflict in the South Asian region will have significant ramifications not only for Pakistan but also for China.