INDIA STRIKES PAK: Jaish Was Planning Other Suicide Bombings, Pre-emptive Strike Hit Its Biggest Camp, Confirms India's Foreign Secretary

General News

As India struck back at Pakistan destroying three Jaish-e-Mohammad terror launchpads at Balakot, Chakoti and Muzaffarabad in the neighbouring country on Tuesday morning, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale addressed a press briefing confirming India's strike at Pakistan. 

Written By Monica Aggarwal | Mumbai | Updated On:

Twelve days after the Pulwama terror attack, India has avenged the killing of 40 CRPF soldiers by destroying three Jaish-e-Mohammad terror launchpads at Balakot, Chakoti and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan on Tuesday morning, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale addressed a press briefing confirming India's strike at Pakistan. 

"The JeM has been operating in Pakistan for over two decades, which is led by Masood Azhar. This organization is responsible for a series of terror attacks. Credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country & fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. A pre-emptive strike became important. In an intelligence lead operation in the early hours today, India struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commander & groups of Jihadis were eliminated. This facility in Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar," Vijay Gokhale said. 

HERE'S THE FULL STATEMENT OF FOREIGN SECRETARY VIJAY GOKHALE:

On 14 February 2019, a suicide terror attack was conducted by a Pak based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammad, leading to the martyrdom of 40 brave jawans of the CRPF.  JeM has been active in Pakistan for the last two decades, and is led by MASOOD AZHAR with its headquarters in Bahawalpur.

This organization, which is proscribed by the UN, has been responsible of a series of terrorist attacks including on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and the Pathankot airbase in January 2016.

Information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and PoJK has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan, however, denies their existence.  The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jidhadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities.

India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan. Pakistan has taken no concrete actions to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.

Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose.  In the face of imminent danger,  a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary.In an intelligence-led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by MAULANA YOUSUF AZHAR (alias USTAD GHOURI), the brother-in-law of MASOOD AZHAR, Chief of JeM.

The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism.  Hence this non-military preemptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp.  The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties. The facility is located in thick forest on a hilltop far away from any civilian presence.  As the strike has taken place only a short while ago, we are awaiting further details.

The Government of Pakistan had made a solemn commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. We expect that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment and takes follow up actions to dismantle all JeM and other camps and hold the terrorists accountable for the actions.

Here's what we know so far about India's strike at Pakistan:

  • As per sources, it was the Indian Air Force's Mirage-2000 fighter jets, 12 in number, that participated in the operation. 
  • As per IAF sources, the operation was conducted at 3:30 AM on February 26.
  • The operation involved dropping 1000 kg payloads on terror camps
  • Jaish-e-Mohammed terror launchpads at Balakot, Chakoti and Muzaffarabad were destroyed in the operation
  • Alpha 3 control rooms of the Jaish-e-Mohammed were also destroyed in the operation
  • The strike involved a low-fly run by the Indian Air Force's fighters.

As per sources, the strike, carried out by 12 of the IAF's Mirage 2000 fighters, lasted up to 21 minutes, and was carried out at three locations:

  1. The strike at Balakot, which is 24 kilometres northwest of Muzaffarabad, took place between 3:45 am and 3:53 am. 
  2. The locations hit in this strike were joint training camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
  3. The strike at Muzaffarabad took place between 3:48 am and 3:55 am
  4. The strike at Chakoti took place between 3:58 am and 4:04 am

READ: MASSIVE: India Strikes And Destroys Jaish-e-Mohammed Terror Camps Across The LoC: LIVE UPDATES

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