India is in the midst of 39-day-long Lok Sabha elections, the largest festival of democracy across the world. With just two weeks to go for the May 23 verdict, News Nation brings you the much-anticipated interview of this election season. Speaking exclusively to News Nation's Deepak Chaurasia and Peenaz Tyagi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday opened up on a wide range of issues concerning the nation today. One of the major issues includes the fateful night of Balakot airstrikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in response to the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.
Asked what was on his mind when he gave instruction for Balakot airstrike, PM Modi said he does not want any credit for the operation but the country must hail the armed forces for their bravery and achievement. "I don’t want any credit. I don’t need any credit. But the Army is ours. It is our pride. Why should not we take pride in that? Don't give credit to Modi. But we must hail our forces for their stunning achievement," Modi stated.
Opening up about the minute details of the fateful night of Balakot airstrike, the prime minister, for the very first time, said, "It was raining heavily that night and at around 12 midnight a thought about the strike crossed my mind".
"Experts were thinking if we should carry out the airstrikes some other day due to bad weather. However, I suggested that these clouds can provide us much needed cover," he added.
"At around 1:30 am, we started the movement, at 2:55 we okayed it and at 3:20 am I got the report about the airstrikes. There were so much of movement in air and water that it confused Pakistan," Modi went on to describe further.
On the intervening night of 25 and 26 February, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out air strikes across the LoC at around 3:30 am. According to reports, 12 Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets dropped 1,000 kg bombs, destroying several Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) training camps across the Line of Control (LoC).
The strike came in response to the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, in which a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based JeM rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, killing 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.