Pakistan to celebrate ‘Surprise Day’ on Feb 27
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: The government has announced that the country would celebrate ‘Surprise Day’ on February 27 as a tribute to the retaliatory attack by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) after India’s botched Balakot airstrike.
On Feb 27, 2019, the PAF carried out Operation Swift Retort and shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter aircraft and dropped bombs within the compounds of Indian military facilities in occupied Kashmir – as a warning to the country’s belligerent neighbour. The Pakistani military had lived up to its promise to ‘surprise’ India in wake of any misadventure, saying that ‘uncalled-for aggression’ from the Indian military ‘would not go unpunished’.
The operation also resulted in the capture of an Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, after his Mig-21 was shot down. The pilot was later handed over to Indian authorities as ‘a goodwill gesture’.
The rare aerial engagement significantly raised the stakes in the perilous standoff came a day after Delhi claimed its aircraft had launched an airstrike on what it called the “biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad” militant group inside Pakistan – a claim debunked by Islamabad.