How’s the josh? India retaliates Pulwama with air strikes on JeM camps
The retaliation has come, and how! In the wee hours of Tuesday, Indian air jets ventured into Pakistan occupied Kashmir to destroy major terrorists base in the area. In a surprise to Pakistani security forces, the Indian Air Force reportedly dropped around 1,000 kg bombs on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC) in Muzafarabad sector early morning.
Foreign Secretary VK Gokhale on Tuesday described India’s strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) biggest training camp in Balakot, Pakistan. Indians all over the world hailed the strikes as retaliation to the JeM attack on CRPF convoy which killed 40 jawans 12 days ago in Jammu and Kashmir.
Gokhale said a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, and senior commanders were eliminated.
He said the camps was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, the brother-in-law of JeM chief Masood Azhar.
“Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary,” Foreign Secretary Gokhale said.
“The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties. The facility is located in thick forest on a hilltop far away from any civilian presence. As the strike has taken place only a short while ago, we are awaiting further details,” VK Gokhale said.
“The government of Pakistan had made a solemn commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. We expect that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment and takes follow up actions to dismantle all JeM and other camps and hold the terrorists accountable for the actions.”
However, Pakistan downplayed Tuesday’s incident, saying there were no casualties and that Indian jets “released a payload” hastily in a forest area after crossing Kashmir’s Line of Control (LoC), which acts as a de facto border between the two countries. Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor also confirmed about the strikes in his tweets. “Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot,” he tweeted, adding that no casualties have been reported so far. ANI also reported: “At 0330 hours on 26th February, a group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it.”
But Twitter was already rejoicing.
“Air Force carried out aerial strike early morning today at terror camps across the LoC (Line of Control) and Completely destroyed it,” India’s minister of state for agriculture, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, said on Twitter. Many celebrities also hailed and congratulated the defence forces and Narendra Modi government for the operation.