With immense pressure mounting on the Narendra Modi-led Government for action after the dastardly terrorist attack at Pulwama, the IAF (Indian Air Force) today morning bombed the biggest Jaish E Mohammed training camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. In this strike, a large number of JeM jihadis, senior commanders, terrorists and trainers have been eliminated. This training camp was headed by JeM boss Masood Azhar’s brother in law Maulana Yousuf Azhar.
This strike took everyone across the border with surprise, even as the Pakistani establishment denies that the camp was bombed. A report in the Dawn says that there was a ‘ceasefire violation’ by India but there was no mention of a terrorist camp being targeted.
This strike comes days after it was being reported that the JeM was planning another suicide terror attack on Indian soil. With this danger looming, a pre-emptive strike by India was absolutely necessary.
The Government had planned this strike to ensure that there were no civilian casualties and that only the terrorists and their trainers were killed. This JeM facility was located in a dense forest quite far away from civilian areas.
In fact, this is the first time since 1971 that India has crossed the Line of Control to drop bombs deep inside Pakistani territory. In the last 1998 war with Pakistan, the IAF was given strict rules to not cross the LoC when eliminating the invaders.
This time, the IAF had no choice but to cross the LoC as the terrorist training camp was deep inside Pakistani territory.
As soon as the news of this strike became public, praise came from all quarters for the bravery and courage of the Indian Air Force pilots who risked their lives to eliminate the enemies of the country. With this strike, India has avenged the loss of the 40 odd CRPF personnel who were martyred in the terrorist attack at Pulwama at Jammu and Kashmir.
Reacting to the strike, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan has the ‘Right to Respond’ to the ‘aggression’ shown by India today. How Pakistan will respond to these strikes is something that remains to be seen.