New Delhi: Days after India avenged the death of its 40 CRPF personnel by decimating biggest terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that last week’s air strike in Pakistan won’t be the country’s last such action against terrorism emanating from the neighbouring country. Addressing a public gathering in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, PM asserted that he will target the militants even if they hide in the bowels of the earth. “It is our principle to kill them by barging into their houses,” the Prime Minister added.
Referring to February 26 IAF strike in Balakot, PM said, “If one work gets over, our government doesn’t sleep, but gets ready for another. We won’t lag behind when it comes to taking big and bitter decisions.” His remarks elicited a loud roar of approval from the crowd. (Country is in Safe Hands, Won’t Let Anything Threaten India: PM Modi on IAF Strike)
During the gathering, PM also asked opposition leaders not to malign India’s armed forces and desist from giving statements which may hog the limelight in the Pakistani media. “What our opposition leaders say become headlines in Pakistan newspaper today,” he claimed, adding,”the IAF’s air attack on the Balakot terror camp, carried out in response to the Pulwama suicide bombing, should not be linked with the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019.
“If this is done for elections, were there elections when we carried out the first surgical strikes (in 2016),” he added.
Intensifying attack on previous Congress-led UPA government, PM Modi, while referring to the 2008 attack at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital asked,”Should not those sitting in Delhi at that time have taught those sitting in Pakistan a lesson.”
Notably, he made these remarks after the Opposition parties accused the Centre of politicising the IAF air strike and Pulwama terror attack.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Kapil Sibal had questioned the Centre over the anti-terror action by IAF and claimed that there were hardly any casualties in the strike. “When the international media speak against Pakistan, you are “elated”. But when they ask questions (about the airstrike), they are asking because they support Pak?” the former Union Minister had asked.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had also asked the government to provide evidence of the Balakot airstrikes conducted by IAF, similar to the way the United States demanded evidence after Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in 2011.
Joining a chorus of skepticism from Opposition leaders, Sidhu asked, “300 terrorist dead, Yes or No? What was the purpose then? Were you uprooting terrorist or trees? Was it an election gimmick? Deceit possesses our land in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Stop politicising the Army, it is as sacred as the State.”
On February 26, as many as 12 IAF Mirage 2000 jets had crossed the LoC and dropped six 1,000 kg laser-guided bombs in all the terror hideouts at Balakot situated in the northwest of Muzaffarabad. The attack had killed as many as 300 terrorists, claimed initial reports. News agency ANI quoted sources as saying, “This was an intelligence-based counter-terror strike not a military action for sake of war. Have demolished entire terror set up in the suicide bombing training centre in Balakot, and over 300 terrorists were eliminated in the covert operation by Indian Air Force.”