No Pakistani soldier, citizen died in Balakot air strike, says Sushma Swaraj

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AHMEDABAD: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said that no Pakistani soldier or civilian died in the air strike on a Balakot terror camp in Pakistan.

 

Addressing BJP Mahila Morcha members here, she said Indian military was given complete freedom in the operation but was clearly told that no Pakistani civilian and army should be killed.

"Our armed forces were told to target the camp of Jaish-e- Mohammed which was behind the Pulwama terror attack. They just destroyed their camp and returned," she said.

The minister said the entire international community supported India over the air strike.

"We told the international community that our air strike was in self-defence and informed that the Indian military was instructed not to attack any civilians and soldiers, and they supported us”, the senior BJPleader said.

Sushma Swaraj came down heavily on Congress for not taking any strong action against Pakistan after 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

“On the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, the then Congress-led UPA government had failed to take along other countries to isolate Pakistan despite the fact that 40 persons belonging to 14 countries were killed”, the External Affairs Minister said.

Swaraj claimed that the BJP-led government policy was the reason behind the isolation of Pakistan at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi.

“On March 1, Pakistan had objected to the invitation extended to India for a meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi, but the host county UAE snubbed them”, she said.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was caused by a suicide bomber.

On February 14, an explosives-laden truck rammed into a CRPF convoy in Pulwama outside Srinagar, killing more than 40 soldiers in one of the biggest terror attacks in recent years.

The convoy comprised 78 buses in which around 2500 personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar.

On February 26, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation and attacked terror camps in Balakot area in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The air strikes come 12 days after the dreaded terror outfit-Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) carried out a debilitating attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama.

In response, On February 27, Pakistani F-16 jets violated the Line of Control and the aerial fight ensued.

Subsequently, Indian fighter jet shot down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet, which landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 and captured an Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. However, he was released on March 1st after spending nearly 60 hours in Pakistani custody.

 

 

 

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