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May 26, 1999
Pakistan air force is on red alert
A Special Correspondent in Islamabad
Pakistan has reacted to the Indian action in Kargil sector by placing its armed forces on high alert, including placing the Pakistan Air Force on red alert. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting held in Islamabad on Tuesday between top government and military officials to take stock of the emerging situation across the LoC.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief, who shared the meeting, was briefed extensively by the military brass.
"We briefed the prime minister on the LoC situation extensively," said a participant, who said it was an extensive discussion to conduct an overall review of the situation. Interestingly, the meeting was called at a time when the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Army Chief, General Pervez Musharraf, is away on his first visit to China.
Sharief called the meeting to have a first-hand account of the situation across the LoC. India this morning launched air-attacks against Pakistani-backed infiltrators entrenched in the high terrain of Kargil sector.
Among other things discussed at the high-level was how to should launch a diplomatic offensive against India, apart from boosting operational preparedness to meet any eventuality.
The Pakistan Air Force is on a red alert.
This was the second meeting on defence and security called by Sharief in the last 72 hours.
Others who participated in Tuesday's meeting were Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz, Kashmir Affairs Minister Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Majid Malik, Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Iftikhar Ali Khan, acting Army Chief Lt Gen Saeeduz Zafar (corps commander Peshawar), Commander of 10 Corps Lt Gen Mehmood Ahmed and Director-General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Tauqir Zia, and some civil officials.
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