Pre-emptive strike carried out across LoC in Balakote: Foreign secretary

Pre-emptive strike carried out across LoC in Balakote: Foreign secretary
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Srinagar, Feb 26: Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale on Tuesday said a pre-emptive strike was carried out by India on a training camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad militant outfit in Balakote across the Line of Control (LoC).
He said they had credible inputs that Jaish was planning more attacks in the aftermath of Pulwama attack that left 40 CRPF troopers dead on February 14.
“Credible information was received that JeM was attempting more attacks in the country. A pre-emptive strike became important. India struck the biggest camp of JeM headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother-in-law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar in Balakot,” he told reporters during a briefing in New Delhi.
“In this operation, a very large number of JeM cadres, trainers, senior commander and Jihadis were eliminated.”
“The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of militancy. Hence this non-military pre-emptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp,” said Gokhale, in the statement.
The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties, he said.
“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 militants accountable for the actions,” he added.