The government briefed the representatives of 12 nations about the pre-dawn air strikes on Jaish-e Mohammad camps located across the Line of Control which were conducted by the Indian Air Force this morning. Diplomats from the US, UK, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey and six ASEAN nations are in a meeting with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
The air strikes comes 12 days after the terror strike in Pulwama, for which Pakistan-based terror group Jaish e Mohammad has taken responsibility; 40 soldiers of the CRPF has lost their lives in the terror attack.
Today, in a pre-dawn strike, 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft targeted Jaish’s main terror camp at Balakot – a sprawling area nestled in thick forests around 80 km from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. Nearly 300 terror recruits, including Yousuf Azhar, Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law, were killed in the strikes, sources said.
The government has said the air strikes at Balakot were “non-military” and “pre-emptive” meaning the target was not military and the action was taken to protect itself. Mr Gokhale, who earlier spoke to the media explaining the official position, had said there were intelligence reports that Jaish was planning more attacks in India.
Strikes on military establishments are considered an act of war.
After the briefing, Australia issued a strong statement, demanding that Pakistan take “urgent and meaningful action” against terrorist groups operating from its soil, including Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“We informed our head of nation about what happened and the information is that they acted responsibly and did not affect any civilian population or any Pakistani military,” Hans Dannenberg, the envoy from Dominican Republic said.
UK asked both India and Pakistan to find a diplomatic solution. “The Foreign Secretary highlighted the UK”s concern about the enduring threat to regional stability from terrorism.
The international community had expressed solidarity with India after the Pulwama attack.
Earlier, asked about India’s right to self-defence, US president Donald Trump had said: “India is looking at something very strong. And I mean, India just lost almost 50 people with an attack. So, I could understand that also”.