IAF Surgical Strike LIVE Updates: Less than a fortnight after one of the worst terror attacks on CRPF jawans in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in the last three decades of militancy, India on Tuesday conducted air strikes deep inside Pakistan, the first time after the 1971 war that it has hit targets in that country. The NDA government announced that India had struck the “biggest training camp” of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, in which “a very large number” of JeM terrorists and their trainers were “eliminated”. With this, the government effectively drew a new red line in its strategic calculus with Pakistan.
By striking terrorist camps about 80 km away from the Line of Control in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, India chose “non-military” targets, the Jaish-e-Mohammed-run terror camps, and justified the strikes as “pre-emptive” since terrorists, Delhi said, were plotting another attack.
On Wednesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the objective was to act against a terror camp and that India doesn’t wish to see a further escalation. In her opening remarks during her bilateral meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Swaraj said after Pakistan “refused to acknowledge and act against terror camps, the Indian government decided to take preemptive action.”
Meanwhile, five Pakistani posts were destroyed as the Indian Army retaliated to unprovoked cross border heavy shelling and firing of missiles late Tuesday night. Defence Ministry Spokesperson Lt Colonel Devender Anand said the firing resulted in several casualties on the Pakistani side.