External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has called an all-party meet at 5 pm today. India carried out another surgical strike across the Line of Control in early morning hours on Tuesday. According to news agency ANI, the Indian Air Force’s Mirage 2000 dropped 1,000 Kg bombs and destroyed major terrorist camp across Line of Control. At 3:30 am, Mirage 2000 struck the camp, which is supposed to be located somewhere in Balakot. 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation that dropped 1000 Kg bombs on terror camps across LOC, completely destroying it, the Ani report said.
The report comes hours after Pakistan claimed that Indian Air Force violated the Line of Control. Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces, took to Twitter to announce about the alleged violation. “Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back,” Ghafoor said in an early morning tweet. Short while from now, he also tweeted an update saying that, “Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector.” He also added that, “Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.”
Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the “intelligence-led operation” on the Pakistan-based terror group’s biggest training camp in Balakot became “absolutely necessary” as it was planning more suicide attacks in India. JeM claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy in which 40 soldiers were killed.
Here's Gokhale's full statement:
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.