In a press briefing by the Ministry of External affairs (MEA) over the airstrike in Balakot, Vijay Keshav Gokhale, Foreign Secretary (FS) of India, urged that India has provided evidence of terror bases in Pakistan time and again, however no concrete action has been taken by Pakistan so far.
The air-strike conducted by the Indian Air Force was the first wave of pre-emptive non-military action by India. In the MEA briefing, FS Gokhale said, “The Information about JeM’s operations has been provided to Pakistan from time to time but it has always denied knowledge of their existence”.
Speaking of the need of the strike, Foreign Secretary went on to add, “Credible Intel was received that JeM was planning more suicide attacks in India. In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary”.
— Sreemoy Talukdar (@sreemoytalukdar) February 26, 2019
Not to forget the fact that Masood Azhar-led JeM is active in Pakistan and is responsible for a series of terror attacks, including the 2001 Parliament attack and Pathankot air base attack.
Explaining the minute details of the operation, Gokhale from the MEA asserted, “India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. A large number of JeM terrorists were killed. The strike avoided civilian casualties”. The Foreign Secretary further added that top commanders were eliminated.
Emphasizing on the fact that JeM was targeted specifically, Gokhale continued, “This action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp. We avoided civilian casualties with the selection of the camp. The attack was ‘non-military’ strike which took place in a thickly-forested area”.
In his press briefing, Gokhale specifically mentioned the name of Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri. He added that the camps that were targeted in the strike were commanded by Ustad Ghauri. Moreover, Maulana Yusuf Azhar is the brother-in-law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar.
#WATCH Foreign Secy says,"This facility in Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar…The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualty. It's located in deep forest on a hilltop" pic.twitter.com/QENnnkU5Rh
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Post the Pulwama attack, it had become clear that India will take up a new policy characterized by more vigor and aggression against Pakistan. India’s Pakistan policy reached a point of no return and this has been manifested by the destruction that India unleashed on the Pakistani terror camps right inside their territory. Moreover, international opinion is heavily in India’s favour. The entire world understands that Pakistan has been testing India’s patience for far too long. And now India won’t hold back. For every attempt by Pakistan to attack India, India will hit back in a brutal manner shattering the terrorist country to the core.