New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) had planned a strike, similar to the one carried out in Pakistan’s Balakot on Tuesday, to avenge the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in which nearly 170 people were killed by 10 Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists in 2008, the then Wing Commander Mohonto Panging was quoted as saying in a media report. (ALSO READ – Anticipating Pakistani Retaliation After IAF Strike, Delhi, Mumbai And Other Cities Put on ‘Highest Alert’)
Speaking to The Times of India, Panging informed that the IAF had planned a similar air strike on Muzaffarabad after the Mumbai 26/11 attacks. However, the plan did not materialise as the government’s approval for it never came, the retired Group Captain, who is a founding member of both the Su-30K and Su-30MKI squadrons in the IAF, said.
India on Tuesday avenged the dastardly Pulwama terror attack by mounting a massive offensive on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan and carried a ‘non-military pre-emptive air strike’ on three camps of the terrorist organisation, killing nearly 300 militants.
Soon after India’s pre-emptive strike, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale explained the need for the action and said, “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 pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary.”
As per reports, the IAF struck a five-star resort-style camp in Balakot on a hilltop forest and caught the terrorists in their sleep.
The pre-emptive action against terror camps in Pakistan by India came nearly two weeks after the dastardly Pulwama terror attack in south Kashmir. Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans lost their lives as JeM terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus of the convoy of security personnel on February 14, nearly 30 km short of its destination – the Bakshi Stadium transit camp in Srinagar.
The CRPF convoy, consisting of 78 vehicles carrying 2,500 jawans, was attacked around 3.15 PM in Lethpora on Jammu to Srinagar highway.