One year after Balakot strike: When ‘Bandar’ was code for success

NEW DELHI: It may mean monkey in Hindi and port in Persian, but ‘Bandar’ for now retired Air Force commander Hari Kumar was the code word for success that fateful morning one year ago when Indian jets crossed over to Pakistan to pound a terror camp in Balakot.

And ‘Bandar’ it was at 3.55 am on February 26, 2019, when Kumar called then Chief of Air Staff B S Dhanoa to confirm that the top secret Balakot air operation was a major success.

It was also his birthday, Air Marshal (retired) Kumar recalled on the first anniversary of the Balakot strike, which took place 12 days after the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama in which 40 CRPF personnel was killed.

“There was a farewell banquet for me on February 25. In the event the chief asked me about the preparations for the operation. I briefed him about finer details. Then, the chief told me to call him and say ‘Bandar’ if the operation was successful,” Kumar said in an interview. (AGENCIES)