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From PM Modi to Rahul Gandhi to other Opposition leaders: Who said what on air strikes in Balakot

IAF Air Strike in Pakistan reactions: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajasthan said, "India is in safe hands. Won't let this country bow down. This is my promise to the nation."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 26, 2019 4:25:20 pm
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Much like they had spoken in one voice in condemning the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, leaders cutting across party lines lauded Tuesday’s surgical strike when the Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighters destroyed a major Jaish terror camp across the Line of Control.

At a rally in Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing ex-servicemen, said: “I’m giving you the confidence that India is in safe hands… I understand your enthusiasm today… I won’t let India’s head bow down.”

India confirms air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan

Congress president Rahul Gandhi was among the first politicians to react to the early morning strike. Other leaders including BJP president Amit Shah, party leader Ram Madhav, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, too, tweeted congratulating the armed forces for striking terror camps.

IAF jets hit terror camps across Line of Control. Follow LIVE updates

“ I salute the pilots of the IAF,” Gandhi tweeted around 9:30 am with Tricolour symbols. Within an hour, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted “IAF also means India’s Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind.”

Also Read | Pakistan says it has ‘right to retaliate, self-defence’; Imran Khan calls meeting

“I salute the pilots of the IAF,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted at around 9:30 am with tricolour symbols. In an hour, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee joined Gandhi and tweeted: “IAF also means India’s Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind.”

Union Minister Gajendra Shekhawat was also quick to post his reaction. His tweet was more political. “This is Modi’s Hindustan, it will not only enter your house but will strike at you (Ye Modi ka Hindustan hai, ghar mein ghusega bhi aur marega bhi). Air Force carried out aerial strike early morning today at terror camps across the LoC and Completely destroyed it …every drop of blood will be accounted for. This is just a beginning…. will not let the country down (Ek ek katra khoon ka hisab hoga. Yeh toh ek shuruat hai, ye desh nahi jhukne dunga),” he tweeted.

“I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan,” Kejriwal tweeted.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav lauded both the political leadership as well as the forces for the operation.

“Every Indian who had d (the) pain n (and) anguish of d (the) martyrdom of our forces is greatly relieved and delighted this morning. Salute to d (the) Air Force for a meticulous operation. Our forces r (are) world class anyway. It is d political will of our PM n (and) team that made all d (the) difference,” he tweeted.

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,” tweeted Capt Amarinder Singh, senior Congress leader and Chief Minister of Punjab.

Also Read | First time after 1971 war, IAF used in Pakistan-controlled air space

BJP president Amit Shah said, “Today’s strong action shows the will and resolve of a New India. Our New India will not spare any acts of terror and their perpetrators and patrons.”

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah Tuesday said the strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force on JeM camps is a “totally new ball game” as it was the first time that air power was used during peacetime to hit terrorist targets in the neighbouring country.

“We’ve entered a whole new paradigm with the Balakote air strike. The post-Uri strike was to avenge our losses, Balakote was a ‘preemptive strike to prevent an imminent JeM attack’. Totally new ballgame,” Abdullah tweeted.

Reacting to the developments, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti expressed hope that the “objectives” of both New Delhi and Islamabad had been served as they were making contradictory claims about the air strikes.

“Post pre-dawn strikes carried out by IAF, conflicting reports coming in. Official communique by FS claims that terror training camps were bombed while Pak denied this & said that the planes made a hasty retreat after being spotted. Hope objective of both sides has been served,” she said in a tweet.

Congress leader and Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who whipped up a controversy for his earlier statement on the Pulwama attack, said: “In the war of right & wrong, you can not afford to be neutral, the war against terror outfits is spot on…Bravo Indian Air Force.”

Politicians including Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and his predecessor Shivraj Singh Chouhan also hailed the air strike by Indian armed forces on terror launch pads in Pakistan.

“I congratulate the brave soldiers of Indian Air Force for the massive strike on terrorists’ camp. My party and I are always with you for every move initiated in the country’s interest,” Kamal Nath tweeted.

In his tweet, Chouhan, said, “The drive to eliminate terrorism has begun. Anybody with ill intention against India will meet the same fate as the Jaish terrorists”.


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