IAF airstrikes: Pak FM briefs diplomatic corps

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2019 23:45 hrs

[Pakistan], Feb 26 (ANI): Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday briefed the diplomatic corps over the airstrikes carried out by India at the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.

During the briefing, Qureshi said that Pakistan reserves its right to respond to what it called "aggression" from India.

Sending out a huge message, India today carried out air strikes deep inside Pakistan, destroying a major camp of JeM and eliminating a “large number” of terrorists, including top commanders, of the terror group which attacked a CRPF convoy in Pulwama 12 days back.

In the swift operation, launched at around 3.30 am and completed within minutes, 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets pounded the training centre, housing around 300 terrorists, in Balakot area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with six bombs while SU-30 combat aircraft maintained air superiority to ward off any retaliation by the Pakistan Air Force, sources said.

The camp, located in a forest area atop a hill, was headed by JeM chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Gauri, who was involved in the 1999 hijack of Indian Airlines plane IC-814 and was on Interpol lookout notice since 2000.

The casualty figure of the terrorists is very high as the JeM had shifted its entire cadre to this camp from the launching pads along the Line of Control (LoC), fearing surgical strike-type response from India in the aftermath of Pulwama attack, sources said about first such action by India.

India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the “pre-emptive” strike by India had become absolutely necessary as there was credible information that JeM, which recently carried out the terror attack in Pulwama, was planning further attacks in the country.

In response, a defiant and flabbergasted Pakistan said that Islamabad will respond to any "uncalled aggression" from New Delhi and warned India to be prepared for any "events of eventualities."

"The situation is very grave right now. We will act, not react. We reserve the right to retaliate. Pakistan will respond to such uncalled aggression from India and our armed forces are prepared for any events of eventualities," Qureshi told reporters after the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. (ANI)