New Delhi: India on Tuesday avenged death of its 40 CRPF jawans by destroying three terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot and eliminating a large number of terrorists including top commanders, trainers.  A group of Mirage 2000 Fighter jets struck the terrorist camps at Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad with 1000 kg of explosives at around 3:30 AM. Also Read - PM Modi Dedicates Made-in-India Arjun Battle Tank to Army in Chennai, Launches Infra Projects Worth Several Crores

“India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all measures to fight the menace of terrorism. This non-military pre-emptive action was targeted specifically at JeM camp. The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said while speaking to reporters. Also Read - 'Statement Was Twisted’: After Admitting Role in Pulwama Attack, Pak Minister Seeks Good Relation With India

If reports are to be believed,  the decision to avenge the Pulwama attack was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Also Read - 'Ghus ke Maara': Pakistan Minister Brags About Pulwama Attack in National Assembly, Changes Tone

Here’s who said what: 

Congress president Rahul Gandhi saluted IAF pilots on micro-blooging site Twitter. “I salute the pilots of IAF,” Gandhi tweeted.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also hailed IAF in a one-line tweet.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also hailed IAF’s bravery. “I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan.”

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also posted similar lines. “We salute bravery of our pilots and Air Force. We are blessed and proud of our forces. Jai Hind.”

MoS External Affairs VK Singh said,”They say they want India to bleed with a 1000 cuts. We say that each time you attack us, be certain we will get back at you, harder and stronger. Salute the brave pilots of the IAF that carried out the strikes.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also appreciated the strike and said that “if true, this was not a small strike”. However, he said that he would wait for official word.

Referring the strike as ‘self-defence’, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said,”We are bombing our own territory temporarily called PoK. So no international law broken but it is in self defence.”

“My compliment goes to the government for taking this action and also to the Air Force for the way they have carried out this strike (in Balakot) in an absolutely professional manner. All pilots are safe. I think it needed to be done. I personally had no doubt in my mind after Pulwama attack that some strong action will be taken by the government,” said Lt Gen DS Hooda (Retired), the Northern Army Commander during the ‘Surgical Strike’ in 2016.

Goa BJP spokesperson and South Goa MP Narendra Savaikar said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) strikes on terror camps in Pakistan have shown that India will not tolerate any Pulwama-like terror strike anymore.

“The IAF strike has shown that India will not tolerate any attack on its soil henceforth. Two weeks ago, Pakistan tried to unsettle India and demoralise its forces, after the attack in Pulwama which killed 40 CRPF jawans and therefore every Indian thought something needed to be done in retaliation,” Savaikar said.

“Today, we see that the IAF strike has shown, that the government, people and armed forces will not keep quiet. Under the leadership of our PM (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, we earlier saw the surgical strike. Now, IAF has entered Pakistani soil and destroyed their terror camps,” he added.