Ajit Doval and John Bolton
Ajit Doval and John Bolton
Text Size:

New Delhi: The pre-emptive strike by the Indian Air Force early Tuesday in Pakistan’s Balakot was discussed by Ajit Doval and John Bolton, the national security advisers of India and the US, during a phone call on 16 February, a top diplomatic source told ThePrint.

This was two days after the Pulwama attack in Kashmir, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed a suicide strike claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The source also said the US was apprised of the intelligence-led operation in which a very large number of Jaish terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis, who were being trained for suicide action, were eliminated, as stated by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale Tuesday.

“India has the full support of the US for this action. This is not going to impact the stance India has taken in moving the UN Security Council,” the source said, adding that the international community is now backing India in its action against the JeM.

Also read: This is what India means by its ‘non-military’ action against Pakistan

India’s right to self-defence

In a statement issued after the phone call, Bolton said the US supports India’s “right to self-defence”. He also said that he spoke to Doval twice, and expressed America’s condolences over the terror attack.

Bolton had also then said the US has clearly stated to Pakistan that it has to end support to terrorist safe havens.

“We have been very clear on that score… And, we are continuing to be in discussions we are going to have with the Pakistanis,” he had told the media.

US President Donald Trump had also stated that “India is looking at something very strong”.

US may have shared intelligence

“Given that the Indian Foreign Secretary has termed today’s strike as a ‘pre-emptive strike’, this is one notch higher than the 2016 surgical strikes which was retaliatory in nature,” said Happymon Jacob, professor at JNU and an expert on disarmament.

“One also gets the feeling that the Americans may have given some intelligence about the exact location of the target to the Indian side, since John Bolton had already stated that they respect India’s right to self-defence.”

Jacob added that the Pakistani non-retaliation in 2016 has emboldened the Indian military planners.

Also read: Mirage 2000: Why India used these fighter jets for its strike on Pakistan

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And have just turned three.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous and questioning journalism. Please click on the link below. Your support will define ThePrint’s future.

Support Our Journalism

1 Comment Share Your Views


  1. Shekhar ji nothing great. Might have met. It will be appreciated if you give news about his children involvement and doval’s reaction. It’s obvious you will not do that because you want to play safe for favours from BJP in case they win. THIS IS NOTHING BUT YELLOW JOURNALISM.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here