Pakistan deploying fighter jets at Skardu near Ladakh; India watching closely

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of New Delhi revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, media reports claimed that Pakistani forces had started moving equipment to their forward bases close to Ladakh.

“Three C-130 transport aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force were used on Saturday to ferry equipment to their Skardu air base opposite the Union Territory of Ladakh. The Indian agencies concerned are keeping a close eye on the movement of Pakistanis along the border areas,” news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.

Sources said Pakistan is most likely to move in their JF-17 fighter planes to the Skardu air field.

Pakistan had reacted sharply to India’s decision to abrogate Article 370 that gave special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcate the state into two Union territories. Islamabad suspended all trades with India and downgraded the diplomatic ties, besides expelling the Indian high commissioner.

The ANI report quoted sources as saying that Pakistan Air Force was planning to conduct an exercise of its Air Force and Army elements and the move of shifting planes to the forward base could also be a part of it.

On August 5, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the central government had decided abrogation of special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and creation of two new UTs—Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh—after bifurcating the state.

The Valley has been under a lockdown ever since the announcement with thousands of security personnel positioned across the region to watch out for any trouble.

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