Today, 12 Mirage-2000 jets of the Indian Air Force conducted a pre-dawn air strike on terrorist camps across the LoC (Line of Control) & IB (International Border). The biggest training camp of Pakistan Army sponsored terror organization Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, was destroyed. It is reported that around 300 terrorists were eliminated in the strikes.
On 14 Feb, a JeM suicide bomber had struck a CRPF bus in Pulwama killing 44 soldiers. Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack and even released a video of their suicide bomber talking about his motivation for the terrorist act and previous acts of terror carried out by JeM.
In a statement, the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) said
” 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.
Pakistan has refused to act against infrastructure of terrorism built on its soil…The pre-emptive air strike was carried out after receiving credible intelligence that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of Bharat, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose…the operation eliminated a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action. The targeted facility at Balakot was headed by MAULANA YOUSUF AZHAR (alias USTAD GHOURI), the brother-in-law of MASOOD AZHAR, Chief of JeM….The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties.“
Today’s air strikes follow the surgical strike carried out by Bharat on PoK-based terror launchpads in September 2016, and the June 2015 surgical strike in Myanmar to destroy two camps of NSCN(K) and KYKL terrorists. Taken together, these 3 actions spell out a consistent national security policy and send 3 messages to different audiences –
1.) To Pakistan and the world – Bharat will not allow our neighbours to use their soil or territory controlled by them for terrorism against it. The failed era of ‘strategic restraint’ is well and truly over, and the nuclear bluff will not scare us from exercising our right to protect our citizens as per international law.
2.) To pro-Pak lobby within Bharat – Ever since the late 1980s when Pakistan started using jihadi terror against Bharat as per their ‘death with a 1000 cuts’ doctrine, successive governments of Bharat have failed to effectively counter this threat which has grown manifold. Even after the horrific 26/11 attack in Mumbai, we refused to hit back.
As Shri Sushil Pandit, an expert on J&K and Pakistan, put it in this April 2017 interview with HinduPost –
“We have treated Pakistan as any other normal State is dealt with. The same sterile methods, that have proved useless time and again, have been repeatedly deployed. Coughing up concessions in the wake of grave transgressions, has been elevated to the level of grand strategy.
An awfully large, and well heeled, section of our society have a Pakistan-obsession. They are almost everywhere – in our media, academia, diplomacy, bureaucracy, politics, think-tanks and noisy chatterrati. Pakistan uses them to influence the public discourse, and through that the policy establishment, in Bharat. Through their interventions, these Pakophiles spread confusion and undermine Bharat’s ability to take tough decisions, to defend itself effectively, resolutely.”
This pro-Pakistan lobby has been sidelined for now, and a more rational, common-sensical approach to deal with Pakistan has been put in place. However, some of these Pakophiles might execute a U-turn in the face of the current national mood and others will just lie low waiting for the political winds to change. DO NOT BE FOOLED – unless these pro-Pakistan elements are ruthlessly exposed and those among them who have colluded with the enemy are prosecuted as per law, these fifth columnists will continue weakening us from within.
3.) To the people of Bharat – We are not a soft state. We are not dependent on international support to fight our fights. We do have other options other than outright war to teach our enemies a lesson. Bharat is a peace-loving nation that has no expansionist agenda, but we will not allow our nation to be terrorized or surrender meekly to those who want to break us up.
However, the war against terror and the #BreakingIndia forces that come in various shapes and forms, will be a long-drawn one. One air strike will not resolve the issue overnight. The enemy is vicious and the Pakistani Army views destruction of ‘Hindu Bharat’ as their ultimate goal. We can expect ISI and its terror proxies like JeM and LeT to attempt a terror strike on one of our metro cities in retaliation, and must not let our guard down even for a minute.
For decades we have tried the path of talks and reconciliation, and got nowhere. Now, it is time to put our trust in the approach of calibrated retaliation and systematic destruction of Pakistan’s terror infrastructure through a long-term war of attrition using our military, economic and diplomatic strengths. The military-mullah nexus which drives Pakistan’s hate-soaked Islamist policy towards Bharat must be destroyed before any meaningful cooperation between the people of Pakistan & Bharat is possible.
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