Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s press briefing on the aerial attacks against Pakistan terrorist camps.
“Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen.
On the 14th of February 2019 a suicide terror attack was conducted by a Pakistan based terrorist organisation, the Jaish-e-Mohammed leading to the martyrdom of 40 brave jawans of the CRPF.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed has been active in Pakistan for the last two decades and its led lead by Masood Azhar with its headquarters Bahawalpur. This organization which is prescribed by the United Nations has been responsible for a series of terrorists attacks including the attacks on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and the Pathankot air base in January 2016.
Information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan however denies their existence.
The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of Jihadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of the Pakistan authorities.
India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the Jaish-e-Mohammed, to prevent Jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan. Pakistan has taken no concrete action to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.
Credible intelligence was received that the jaish- e-mohammed was attempting other suicide terror attacks in various parts of the country and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose.
In the phase of imminent danger a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary. In an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today India struck the biggest training camp of the jaish- e-mohammed in Balakot.
In this operation a very large number of jaish- e-mohammed terrorists, trainers, commanders and group of jihadis who have being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated.
This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azar alias Yusuf Gauri the brother in law of Masood Azhar the chief of the JeM.
The Government of India is 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 jaish- e-mohammed camps.
The selection of the targets was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties. The facility is located in thick forest on a hilltop far away from any civilian presence. As the strike has taken place only a short while ago we are awaiting further details.
The Government of Pakistan had made solemn commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. We expect that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment an takes follow up action to dismantle all JeM and other camps and hold the terrorists accountable for their actions.
Updated: 12:15 pm IST
Quoting news feed ANI :-
Pakistani F16s were scrambled to retaliate against IAF Mirage 2000s but turned back due to size of Indian formation. Western Air Command coordinated operation.
One of the targets destroyed by IAF Mirage jets was in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area. Air strikes in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region were based on locations provided by on ground intelligence sources.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amrinder Singh congratulated the Indian Air Force.
Great job by the #IndianAirForce. The #IAFStrikes have sent the much needed signal to Pakistan and the terrorists it’s harbouring – don’t think you can get away with acts like the #PulwamaAttack. Bravo to the #IAF men and my full support for the action.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) February 26, 2019
The Chief Minister of New Delhi Arvind Kejriwal congratulated the Indian Air Force.
I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 26, 2019
The Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
IAF also means India's Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 26, 2019
The Prime Minister will be looking to comment on the strikes after the press briefing of the Foreign secretary at 11:30 am IST.
Updated: 11:27 am IST
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security at the 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.
Delhi: Meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security underway at 7, LKM pic.twitter.com/sCq0MZSB2u
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Meanwhile the Indian Air Force have been put on high alert, all our air defence systems along the international border and LoC to respond to any possible action by Pakistan Air Force.
The Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale will talk to the press at 11:30 am IST.
Updated: 10:48 am IST
The Indian Air Force striked three terror launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad terror launch pads across the Line Of Control were completely destroyed by the IAF air strikes.
The terrorist outfit JeM used these camps for recruitment, training and as control rooms.
The Congress President Rahul Gandhi has congratulated the IAF for their strikes 180 kilometers away from Islamabad.
Rahul tweeted –
🇮🇳 I salute the pilots of the IAF. 🇮🇳
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 26, 2019
Updated: 9:50 am IST
The Indian Air Force carried out aerial strike at terror camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir early this morning.
Indian Air Force sources to ANI said :-
“At 0330 hours on 26th February a group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it.
1000 Kg bombs were dropped on terror camps across the LoC.
12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation that dropped 1000 Kg bombs on terror camps across LOC, completely destroying it.”
The Pakistan Armed Forces Spokesperson on twitter acknowledged that Indian Air Force crossed LOC and dropped payload.
The Ministry of Defence is most likely to make a statement in a short while.
This is a developing story, more updates to follow.