Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Balakot
Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Balakot

Political parties laud IAF for air strike on Pakistan's terror camp

ANI | Updated: Feb 26, 2019 20:41 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 26 (ANI): Parties across the political spectrum on Tuesday hailed the air strikes carried out at Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp in Pakistan, saying such a step was necessary for defeating terrorism.
After the IAF planes returned safely from Pakistan, the government decided to call an all-party meeting to apprise them about the developments. 
From the government's side, the meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
"I am happy that all people across party lauded the Indian Air Force for their operation and have also ensured their support to the government in all anti-terror operations," Sushma Swaraj told ANI.
After the meeting, senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "We have appreciated the efforts of the forces, they always have our support to end terrorism. We will always support our security forces to uproot terrorism and terrorists coming from outside."
He added, "Another good thing is that it was a clean operation which specifically targetted terrorists and terror camps, no civilian life has been lost."
Saluting the Indian Air force, leader of the Communist Party of India D Raja said Pakistan should consider it as a message and act against terror groups emanating from its soil.
"Pakistan should take note that it is a message not only from India but from the international community. Proxy war cannot be encouraged by any government. Pakistan should take credible action against terror groups operating from its soil," he underlined.
Earlier in the day, leaders from various political parties appreciated the IAF's aerial strikes, destroying vast and advanced training camp of JeM.
India carried out air strikes deep inside Pakistan, annihilating the JeM camp and eliminating a “large number” of terrorists, including top commanders, of the terror group which had attacked CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14.
In the swift operation, launched at around 3.30 am and completed within minutes, 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets belonging to the IAF pounded the training centre, housing around 300 terrorists, in Balakot with six bombs while SU-30 combat aircraft maintained air superiority to ward off any retaliation by the Pakistan Air Force, sources said.
The camp, located in a forest area atop a hill, was headed by JeM chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Gauri, who was involved in the 1999 hijack of Indian Airlines plane IC-814 and was on Interpol lookout notice since 2000.
Suicide bombers were produced in the camp, sources said adding that the terrorists have imparted the advanced Daura e Khaas training in weapons, explosives and field tactics, tactics for attacking security forces convoys, planting and making IEDs, preparations for suicide bombing, rigging vehicles for suicide attacks and survival tactics in high altitudes and extreme-stress situations.
After Tuesday's air strike, the casualty figure of the terrorists is very high as the JeM had shifted its entire cadre to this camp from the launching pads along the Line of Control (LoC), fearing surgical strike-type response from India in the aftermath of Pulwama attack, sources said about first such action by India.
A large number of JeM terrorists, including top commanders, trainers and those terrorists who were to be the ‘fidayeen’ (suicide attackers) were eliminated in the “non-military” air strike, India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told the media while officially disclosing information about the air strike, hours after the action.
Gokhale said the “pre-emptive” strike by India had become absolutely necessary as there was credible information that JeM, which recently carried out the terror attack in Pulwama, was planning further attacks in the country. (ANI)