Beijing: A day after Indian Air Force struck Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest camp in Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday that New Delhi carried out the pre-emptive action after Pakistan refused to act against the terror group, following the Pulwama attack.
“We lost 40 personnel in Pulwama attack. Such dastardly attacks are a reminder that all countries should take action against terrorism. Despite the strike, Pakistan denied any knowledge of the event. We were informed that Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad was planning more attacks in India. It is then that we decided to strike the terror camp. It was not a military attack. It was only a pre-emptive to destroy terrorism,” Swaraj said during the meeting held on the side-lines of Russia, India, China Foreign Ministers meeting.
Raising the issue of Pulwama attack at the trilateral meeting, the External Affairs Minister said: “I am visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India. It is the worst terrorist attack directed against our security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. The attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Muhammed, the Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation.”
Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a suicide attack by Pakistan-based JeM in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, sparking outrage in the country.
Following the incident, India bombed and destroyed JeM’s biggest training camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC) early Tuesday, killing a “very large number” of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.
Stating that the JeM is banned by the UN and other countries, Swaraj told Wang that “this terrorist attack is the direct result of the impunity and cover provided to the JeM and its leaders by the Pakistani side”.
“After the Pulwama attack the entire UN has spoken with full voice to condemn it,” she said.
Swaraj who arrived here early this morning told Wang that this is their first meeting this year and therefore an opportune time for the two sides to take stock of the bilateral relations and look ahead for cooperation.
“This is our first meeting this year. Therefore, an opportune time for us to take stock of our bilateral relations and look ahead for cooperation. The India-China relationship is an important relationship for both of our countries,” she said.
Referring to the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Swaraj said “we have made substantial progress in relations”.
“It is important for both sides to make sure the through and effective implementation of the guidance given by the two leaders,” she told Wang, adding that both side made efforts and “we should sustain this”.
“Particularly the decision taken by our leaders to maintain strategic communication between them provided an important foundation for the development of our bilateral relations. This channel of strategic communication between the two of us and between senior officials should always remain open,” she said.