Pakistan’s vacant threats to India have been going on for a while and they’ll continue as it wants to hide the inferiority of its conventional military means under a mask of verbal belligerence so that India fears taking the aggressive route. As a counter, the Modi government is making all efforts to bleed Pakistan quick yet profusely in case a war erupts.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is planning a new fighter aircraft base for the Indian Air Force, the location of which will most likely be in Gujarat from where Pakistan can be dealt a swift blow. The base can come up at Deesa which is located in the Banaskantha district. It is near Pakistan and is a perfect location to bring into quick effect an air response in case a conflict erupts. Gujarat already has major fighter bases in Jamnagar in Saurashtra region as well as Bhuj and Naliya in Kutch.

For many years, this plan was stuck in files and was far from becoming a reality. But Nirmala Sitharaman has given it a considerable push and the proposal has moved swiftly and is expected to reach the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by the Prime Minister in the near future.

The new Defence Ministry team is dedicatedly following up on long-pending proposals and suggestions. The IAF base at Deesa is one such proposal that had been discussed a lot but never brought to fruition.

This development comes less than a month after Air Chief BS Dhanoa declared that the IAF is prepared to fight a ‘short and swift war’ at a short notice and that the force has the capability of striking across the border if the government decides.

This facility is crucial as it’ll give the IAF ability to launch a counter air operation or even a pre-emptive strike against Pakistan. The airbase will also act as a training centre for its rookie pilots and for operating its remotely piloted vehicles.

Such moves are in preparation for a two-front war against Pakistan and China, and developing airfields on both the Eastern and Western borders are a crucial part of it.

Like, on the Chinese side, the IAF has developed the Daulat Beg Oldie airfield in the Eastern Ladakh sector, while the process to develop new Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) and repairing old ones in Arunachal Pradesh has been taken up on a priority basis.

When people talk of a two-front war against Pakistan and China, they immediately ask – Will India is able to handle such a situation? All I can say is, if Israel can not only fend-off but even dominate a war against the united Arab world (6-day war of 1967) without any support from any nation – not even the United States – then I have more than enough trust in the training and bravery of our warriors to be able to protect every inch of our land against a two-sided assault.


Vinayak Jain