The return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has however lowered the tensions along the border, but India is on high alert nevertheless, not willing to take chances in anticipation of a possible escalation by Pakistan.
Indian preparations include the first ever operational deployment of the cutting edge Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari and also the troops along the border remain war-ready to ensure security of the International Border in the Jammu sector.
In the military briefing on the ongoing tensions with Pakistan, the shortest address was by the Indian Navy: Rear Admiral DS Gujral delivered a crisp, 71-word statement, compared with 240 words by the army and 452 words by the air force that shared details of the air battle.
While Rear Admiral Gujral merely said the navy is “deployed in high state of readiness and remains poised in all the three dimensions — on surface, under sea and in air”, it is learnt that all operational platforms have been at sea and were ordered to be on full standby.
Senior officials speaking off the record said Pakistan’s military is still carrying out troop mobilisation, largely across the Line of Control (LoC) and some areas along the International Border as well.
Officials said the ‘limited movement’ of some Indian troop formations along the International Border was an interim and precautionary step.
As part of the exercise — which was originally planned to be concluded in early March — over 70 warships, besides combat aircraft and support vessels, are at sea, fully armed and prepared for operations.