India will strongly retaliate at a time and place of its choosing if Pakistan attempts to use drones or indulges in `hybrid warfare’ of any kind to target Indian civilian or military assets, chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat warned on June 2.
While speaking at a seminar organised by the Global Counter-Terrorism Council, Gen Rawat said that the Investigative agencies are probing whether the small explosive-laden drones used in the terror attack on the Jammu air force station on June 27 were launched from Pakistan or from within the region and whether the intent was to deliver a message of a new capability or actually cause damage on the ground.
“We do not yet know the ultimate intention. But let them (Pakistan) attempt to do something to damage our assets, and the reaction from our armed forces will be very different. The political will is there. Our armed forces are ready,” he said.
“A strong message has to be sent that anything of this nature, grey-zone tactics or hybrid warfare, if it damages our assets and affects our national security, we reserve the right to respond at a time and place of our choosing and the manner in which we wish to respond,” he added.
His comments came a day after Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said that the easy availability of drones allowed both State and non-state actors to use them, increasing the complexity of challenges faced by the security forces.
The Jammu attack was the first-ever offensive use of drones to target an Indian military facility.