External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said based on credible information that JeM was planning other attacks in parts of India, the Government of India decided to take pre-emptive action and the target was selected to avoid civilian casualties.
“The limited objective of the pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of the JeM in order to pre-empt another terrorist attack in India,” a media report quoted her as saying.
Justifying the pre-dawn air strike in Pakistan’s Balakot, Swaraj also spoke about the “grief and anger” in India after the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber of the Jaish on February 14.
The air strikes in Pakistan were carried out in the light of the country’s continuous refusal to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory, Swaraj, who is visiting China, said India wants to avoid any “further escalation of the situation” and will “continue to act with responsibility and restraint”.
Swaraj, visiting China for the 16th Russia-India-China or RIC foreign ministers’ meeting in Wuzhen, said during talks with her counterparts from Beijing and Moscow that “no military installations were targeted” in the air strike, and the target was selected to avoid civilian casualties.
Swaraj went on to say that “India does not wish to see further escalation of the situation. India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint.”
On Tuesday, media reports said at around 3.30 am, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the IAF dropped 1,000 kg bombs on terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, destroying them. The strikes, involving several fighter jets of the IAF, destroyed camps belonging to Pakistan-based terror outfits in Balakot area of the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.