With less than two weeks remaining for the all-important seven-phase 2019 Lok Sabha polls to begin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave his first election interview, speaking on a wide range of topics with Republic Media Network Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
An important matter which he discussed in detail was about his role in the Indian Air Force's airstrike on the terror hubs of JeM in Balakot, which came days after the outfit had killed 40 CRPF jawans with an IED blast in Pulwama.
Recalling those moments, PM Modi stated that at the very time India was avenging its martyrs, he was completely involved in the operation and was in the loop of everything that panned out.
"My nature is such that - when such things happen, when the lives of our jawans are being risked, then I can't isolate myself. I am always connected to it. Officers don't expect that Prime Minister stays awake the entire night, but I can't stop myself. So I was completely involved and rightfully so," he replied when asked if had the minute to minute information about the whole operation.
The Balakot operation came about 12 days after Pakistan-sponsored terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed killed 40 CPRPF jawans in Pulwama. Even as the perpetrators for the heinous crime were exposed in front of the world, Pakistan washed its hands clean and chose not to take any kind of action against the terror group - something it has continued till this day despite copious evidence handed to it by India, including the Jaish's own confession.
Indian Air Force (IAF) prepared a dozen of its Mirage 2000s, and they entered Pakistan territory and bombed the terror havens of JeM. The successful operation was carried out in the space of just 17 minutes.
Despite evidence of the operation becoming public, Pakistan refused that any airstrike of such magnitude had taken place. Instead, the neighbouring country tried to push the false narrative that Indian jets, after coming under pressure from Pakistan Air Force (PAF), dropped their bombs in the forest before fleeing.