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A month after IAF air strike, Pakistan army takes team of journalists to Balakot

Intelligence sources told The Indian Express that over 300 children at a JeM madrasa in the area were still found to be present.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 30, 2019 7:34:54 am
A month after IAF air strike, Pakistan army takes team of journalists to Balakot IAF conducted an air strike at JeM training camps in PoK’s Balakot before dawn on February 26. (AP)

A month after the air strikes by the Indian Air Force on Jaish-e-Mohammad training camps in the Balakot, Pakistan Army took a group of journalists in the area, sources in the government have said. A team of scribes was taken to the spot on March 28 (Thursday), they said.

Intelligence sources told The Indian Express that over 300 children at a JeM madrasa in the area were still found to be present. Journalists escorted by the Pak army met the children and made videos, they said, adding that the area is protected by Frontier Corp (a Pakistan paramilitary force).

Pakistan denies once again: No terror camps at 22 sites India flagged, no Pulwama link of those held

IAF conducted an air strike at JeM training camps in PoK’s Balakot before dawn on February 26. A day after the strikes, IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during an aerial combat. He downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan before his plane was hit. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan. The government had called it a “non-military pre-emptive strike.”

Today’s statement by Intelligence sources comes after Pakistan denied the presence of any terror camps after it examined 22 “pin locations” shared by India.

Pakistan also said that it could not establish any links between the 54 people detained by its investigative agencies and the Pulwama attack. Pakistan Foreign Ministry’s statement came a month after India handed a dossier on the Jaish-e-Mohammad’s involvement in the February 14 Pulwama attack.

The latest statement by government sources comes just two weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Modi government has been criticising the Opposition for demanding proof of the Balakot airstrikes. The Congress has been asking the government for evidence of the airstrikes and has also termed the incident as ‘match-fixing’ by PM Modi and Pakistan  PM Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, while addressing a rally in Odisha’s Koraput, PM Modi on Friday said, “Ek mahina ho gaya Pakistan lashein ginney main laga hua hai or yeh saboot maang rahe hain (Since one month, Pakistan is counting corpses and Opposition is asking for proof)”.

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