Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has reopened two airbases, Kotli and Rawalkot, which are barely 100 kms from Srinagar. The two air bases, close to the Line of Control (LoC), are in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The two airbases had been closed for years.
According to Times Now News, over a hundred air defence troops have been moved to Kotli airbase, which will be under the Pakistan Army's 3 PcK brigade, part of the 23 Division. Rawalkot airbase, which was closed four years, will come under 2 PcK Brigade of 12 division.
The reopening of both Kotli and Rawalkot is a precautionary measure, as is the deployment of small numbers of F-16 fighters in different airfields all over the country. PAF's 403 Squadron helicopters has moved to Shamsi, where communication and radar networks are being readied.
The reopening of PAF facilities so close to the LOC is a threat, while the strengthening of the base in Shamsi in Balochistan and the construction of a new army cantonment near the PAF base in Jacobabad, Sind, is a sign of growing unrest in those provinces. The Pakistan government has acquired 26,000 acres for a new PAF base in Nasirabad, Balochistan.
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