New Delhi: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi welcomed the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Air Force on Tuesday. Reacting to the strike, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, “Was expecting this sort of response within 2-3 days after Pulwama blast. Welcome this. We stand with govt. Though Foreign Secy called it non-military action, it’s a step I was expecting govt will take a long time back. I hope govt will now go after Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed.” Also Read - IAF Chief Warns Pakistan, Says Force Ready 24x7 to Strike Terror Camps Across LoC
India hit the terror camps with surgical strikes on the Pakistani territory of Balakot and two other sites in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) namely Muzaffarabad and Chakothi. A group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets took part in the operation and dropped 1000kg bombs on terror camps including control rooms of Pak based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), that claimed responsibility of ghastly Pulwama attack, stated IAF sources. Also Read - Amid IAF Flypast to Salute COVID-19 Warriors, Doctors Ask For More Safety Measures-PPE Kits Instead of 'Single-Day Appreciations'
Foreign Secretary Vijay K. Gokhale told the media on Tuesday that the Indian government was “firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism. Hence, this non-military pre-emptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp. “The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties,” said Gokhale. Also Read - In IAF Flypast in Delhi Today, Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29 to Salute COVID Warriors
The air strikes (which were based on locations provided by ground intelligence source) were carried at around 3:30 AM. Reports claimed that the operations lasted for about 20 minutes. The fighter jets pounded JeM terror camps in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakothi in the well-planned strike, destroying the camps. Reuters quoted government sources saying that around 300 terrorists were neutralised in the action by the AIF. Among those targeted in the strike was Yusuf Azhar alias Mohammad Salim alias Ustaad Ghouri – the brother-in-law of JeM chief Masood Azhar. He was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted in India.
The major strikes took place barely two weeks after the dastardly Pulwama terror attack carried out by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist. The terror attack claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans. It was the worst attack on security forces on a single day in Jammu and Kashmir.
(With Agency inputs)