Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday briefed both President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu about the Indian Air Force (IAF) air strike at Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps across Line of Control (LoC) in the wee hours.
He briefed them after chairing the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in the wake of reports claimed by Islamabad that IAF fighter jets crossed the LoC and returned after dropping a payload in Pakistan. All the IAF bases have been put on high alert anticipating a reaction from Pakistan to the strikes carried out by the Indian fighter jets in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Balakot early on Tuesday.
The air strike was confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. In a brief statement issued to media, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale spoke about ‘intelligence operation.’ “In an intelligence lead operation in the early hours today, India struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commander and Jihadis were eliminated,” Gokhale said.
“Credible information was received that JeM was attempting other attacks in the country. A pre-emptive strike became important. India struck the biggest camp of JeM in Balakot,” Gokhale added.
Talking about the terrorist killed in the airstrike, Gokhale said that, “large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders were eliminated in largest JeM camp in Balakot. Camp was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar.”
Meanwhile, Director General of Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Asif Ghafoor confirmed in a tweet early Tuesday that the IAF planes dropped the payload near Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before leaving in haste as the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) scrambled its war planes.
On February 14, around 40 CRPF personnel were killed when a suicide bomber rammed into a convoy while moving from Jammu to Srinagar in Lethpora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed the responsibility of the attack.