External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (file photo)
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (file photo)

After air strike at Jaish camp, Swaraj speaks to 5 foreign counterparts

ANI | Updated: Feb 26, 2019 23:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 26 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday spoke to her counterparts in the US, China, Singapore, Bangladesh and Afghanistan over the pre-dawn air strikes carried out at the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan, sources said.
Swaraj spoke to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Singaporean foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Bangladeshi foreign minister AK Abdul Momen, they said.
In the all-party meeting today, Swaraj informed the leaders that she spoke to Pompeo over the air strikes at the JeM terror camp in Balakot, sources further said.
"I am happy that people across parties lauded the Indian Air Force for their operation and have also ensured their support to the government in all anti-terror operations," Swaraj told ANI after the meeting.
Sending out a huge message, India today carried out air strikes in Balakot area in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, destroying a major camp of JeM and eliminating a “large number” of terrorists, including top commanders, of the terror group which attacked the CRPF convoy in Pulwama 12 days back.
In the swift operation, launched at around 3.30 am and completed within minutes, 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets pounded the training centre, housing around 300 terrorists, in Balakot area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province 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.
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 was planning further attacks in this country.
Following the air strikes, the foreign secretary briefed the diplomats including those from the US, UK, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey and six ASEAN nations.
"We want to congratulate the Indian government for quickly briefing us. The message was a direct one. It was a non-military preemptive strike. India wanted to target terrorists and not civilians. India behaved responsibly," said Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, Dean of Diplomatic Corps in India after meeting Gokhale. (ANI)