ANS Desk, Feb 26
In a befitting reply to terrorism, Indian Air Force (IAF) today struck biggest terror training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot under POK and eliminated large number of terrorists.
Large number of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and fidayeen jihadis were killed in the IAF’s strike.
With the help of 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets, IAF struck Jaish-e-Mohammed’s camp across Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed terrorist hideouts by dropping 1000 kg bombs.
“India struck biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot; a very large number of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and fidayeen jihadis were eliminated,” tweeted Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
#India struck biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot; a very large number of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and fidayeen jihadis were eliminated: Sh Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary pic.twitter.com/D8kk4gWfWI
— PIB India (@PIB_India) February 26, 2019
In his statement, Vijay Gokhale said that on 14 February 2019, a suicide terror attack was conducted by a Pak based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammad, leading to the martyrdom of 40 brave jawans of the CRPF. JeM has been active in Pakistan for the last two decades, and is led by MASOOD AZHAR with its headquarters in Bahawalpur.
He further added that this organization, which is proscribed by the UN, has been responsible of a series of terrorist attacks including on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and the Pathankot airbase in January 2016. Information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and PoK has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan, however, denies their existence. The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jihadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities.
India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan, said Vijay Gokhale, adding that Pakistan has taken no concrete actions to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.
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, added the officer.
In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary, said Vijay Gokhale.
Vijay Gokhale said that in an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by MAULANA YOUSUF AZHAR (alias USTAD GHOURI), the brother-in-law of MASOOD AZHAR, Chief of JeM. The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism. Hence this non-military preemptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp. 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.
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, informed the officer and further added that 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.
“Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow. Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage,” Spokesperson Pakistan Armed Forces Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted.
Payload of hastily escaping Indian aircrafts fell in open. pic.twitter.com/8drYtNGMsm
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 26, 2019
Indian aircrafts’ intrusion across LOC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJ&K was 3-4 miles.Under forced hasty withdrawal aircrafts released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow, the Pak officer tweeted further.