India has struck deep inside Pakistan in “non-military, pre-emptive air strikes” in a pre-dawn operation targeting the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which was planning more attacks in the country after Pulwama. India used a dozen Mirage 2000 fighter jets to destroy terror camps of JeM in Balakot. The camp, specifically chosen to avoid civilian casualties, is located in thick forests on a hill top. It was run by Maulana Yusuf Azhar, brother-in-law of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
In his response, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the country’s armed forces and people to “remain prepared for all eventualities.” Pakistan’s top security committee said India has “committed uncalled for aggression” and vowed to respond “at the time and place of its choosing.” Pakistan is also preparing to take international media to the area of strikes.
Here in this article we have compiled a list of facts that you “must” know about what is many calling “Surgical Strike 2.0.”
1. Pakistan’s bluff exposed
Soon after the airstrike, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the IAF had violated the Line of Control (LoC). He also said that after facing timely response from Pakistan Air Force, the IAF released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot, and as a result there were no causalities. However, Pakistan’s bluff was exposed after images surfaced on social media showed villagers in Balakot claiming that they had witnessed huge explosions and saw people injured after the air strikes.
2. India breaks a self-imposed psychological barrier
The strikes mark a paradigm shift in India’s counter-terrorism approach. With this India has broken a self-imposed psychological barrier of not resorting to first aerial attack. It also sends a message to Pakistan that after committing terror on Indian soil will no longer save them.
3. India to be not cowed down by any threat
Few days ago, Ghafoor threatened India with a nuclear retaliation should India violate Pakistan’s sovereignty. But with this airstrike India’s message is clear: we will not be cowed anymore by any kind of threat.
4. Striking capability of IAF
The Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 jets crossed 50 miles undetected into Pakistan. This demonstrates IAF’s capability of operating in such ‘highly risky’ zones.
5. Pakistan Army clearing Balakot to destroy evidence
As per media reports, Pakistani Army is clearing all the evidence and bodies from Balakot area where the Indian Air Force struck. Reports say that Pak Army has undertaken a sanitation drive and is hiding bodies of terrorists in order to avert any claims or questions from New Delhi.