Indian Pilots Booked for Killing Pakistani Trees

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India fighter jet payload impact damaged some pine trees in village Jaba of Balakot.
Copy of case which has been registered by Forest Department against unknown pilots of Indian Air Force for destroying some trees in Jaba, Balakot, Maneshra.

Case registered against pilots of IAF by Forest Department, KP for destroying 19 trees

Pak Chronicle Report

Mansehra

Forest Department, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has filed a case against unknown Indian pilots for destroying 19 trees by dropping payload in the area of Balakot during early hours of the morning of February 26, 2019.

The case has been registered against the unidentified Indian pilots of Indian Air Force (IAF) on the complaint of the sub-divisional forest officer (SDFO) Manehra, Arif Khan.

Interestingly, at least one Indian pilot is very much known to Pakistani authorities who violated Pakistani airspace at least on the very next day of this incident but this ‘registration of the case’ reveals that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman had nothing to do with destroying of 19 pine trees. Otherwise, the case would have not been registered against unknown accused.

According to registered case on February 26, around 3:30am bomb blasts were heard in Jungle Cluster Compartment Number 12 (iii) in Jaba (Balakot,  Mansehra). After this incident SDFO Mansehra, Arif along with other officials of the Forest Department paid visit to the affected area at 9am. The place of incident was inspected and massive ditches in the area were found. The team of the forest department also witnessed 19 grown up and small trees being fallen on the ground. Meanwhile, according to the filed report, a few army personnel, locals and media reporters also arrived on the crime scene and only then it was revealed that during night, fighter jets of IAF had violated airspace of Pakistan and they dropped payload over here. According to the registered case, this criminal act of Indian fighter jets damaged these trees besides damaging newly planted trees in the area. “Report is being presented for taking further action against it,” the report stated.

When this incident took place and got attention of local media, the Pak Chronicle had reported that the government of KP takes damaging of trees very seriously because for the past five and half years Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf led government in the province has been planting trees on war-footing-basis. No one is allowed to damage any tree and this case is reflection as how serious a matter it is to damage or destroy some trees of any jungle of Pakistan and especially in KP Province.

During wee hours of the day, Indians had violated Pakistani airspace on February 26 and claimed to have eliminated 300 Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists while Pakistan acknowledged decimation of few trees in Jaba, near Balakot. On very next day Pakistan also captured Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman whose fighter jet belonging to Indian Air Force was shot down by Pakistan Air Force on violation of its airspace.

Wing Commander Varthaman was captured when his MiG-21 among two Indian Airforce jets were shot down by Pakistan Air Forces when they ventured into the Pakistani airspace. The wing commander during his short period of captivity in Pakistan was very well treated and video of him got viral on internet showing him sipping tea in a pleasant mood while praising the Pakistani forces.

The Prime Minster of Pakistan, Imran Khan during his address to the Joint Session of the Parliament had announced to release and hand over the wing commander to the Indian authorities as a goodwill gesture to calm down the warlike situation between the two countries. Later on he was handed to Indian authorities at the Wagah border. Despite this goodwill tension between the two countries does not seem to be improving although Imran Khan won the hearts by many Indians by it.

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