Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefs the media on India's major preemptive strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest camp
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefs the media | PTI File Photo/Manvender Vashist
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New Delhi: India eliminated a large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists on Tuesday morning in non-military pre-emptive action, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

In a press briefing, Gokhale said credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, requiring a pre-emptive strike.

“The government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism. Hence this non-military preemptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp,” Gokhale said.


Also read: These are the 3 locations in Pakistan that were bombed by Indian Air Force


Read the foreign secretary’s full statement below:

On 14 February 2019, a suicide terror attack was conducted by a Pak based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammad, leading to the martyrdom of 40 brave jawans of the CRPF. JeM has been active in Pakistan for the last two decades, and is led by MASOOD AZHAR with its headquarters in Bahawalpur.

This organization, which is proscribed by the UN, has been responsible of a series of terrorist attacks including on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and the Pathankot airbase in January 2016.

Information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and PoJK has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan, however, denies their existence. The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jidhadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities.

India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan. Pakistan has taken no concrete actions to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.

Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary.

In an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by MAULANA YOUSUF AZHAR (alias USTAD GHOURI), the brother-in-law of MASOOD AZHAR, Chief of JeM.

The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism. Hence this non-military preemptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp. The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties. The facility is located in thick forest on a hilltop far away from any civilian presence. As the strike has taken place only a short while ago, we are awaiting further details.

The Government of Pakistan had made a solemn commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. We expect that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment and takes follow up actions to dismantle all JeM and other camps and hold the terrorists accountable for the actions.


Also read: India’s Mirage 2000 fighter jets destroyed Pakistani terrorist camp, ANI claims


 

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  1. A disclaimer: I am a patriotic Indian like most of you and believe 100% in the surgical strikes, their authenticity and outcomes and don’t demand any proof. Having got that out of the way let me express my reservations about their impact. In my humble opinion: Zero. The jehadis eliminated were in any case prepared to meet the celestial virgins; all we’ve done is advance the timing. Do these attacks hurt the Pakistani Army in any way? No. So they’ll tap into the seemingly endless supply of expendable morons from the madarsas. And it’ll be business as usual. India should aim to hurt the military establishment – either physically or financially if we want a change in their behavior. We need to get the crore commanders by the short curly instead of wasting ordnance on stupid jehadis.

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