During a press briefing in Coimbatore, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa made a statement on the Balakot air strike. Air Chief said that the IAF is not in a position to count the number of casualties and that the figure can only be given by the government.
He was quoted as saying,
IAF is not in a postilion to clarify the number of casualties. The government will clarify that. We don’t count human casualties, we count what targets we have hit or not.
This statement comes a day after BJP President, Amit Shah claimed that the Balakot air strike had taken the lives of almost 250 terrorists. He had said,
After the Uri attack, the army did a surgical strike. After the Pulwama attack, people said there could not be a surgical strike due to the high level of alertness. But on the 13th day, the Narendra Modi government carried out an air strike, and more than 250 terrorists were killed without suffering any losses.
According to reports, the Air Chief Marshal also added that after the attack deep inside Pakistan, the Rafale jet will be a part of India's Air Force by September.
The Air Chief also refused to comment after the press asked him about the current situation on the border.
With regard to IAF wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman's probability of flying again, Dhanoa said,
Whether he flies again or not depends on his medical fitness. That’s why post-ejection, he has undergone medical check. Whatever treatment required, will be given. Once we get his medical fitness, he will get into fighter cockpit.
Varthaman was taken into custody by Pakistan, after his MiG-21 Bison jet was hit. He was subsequently released and is currently undergoing medical treatment.