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India salutes IAF for its daring strike on JeM's biggest terror camp at Balakot in Pakistan


ANI General News
The nation on Tuesday came together in hailing the feat of Indian Air Force (IAF), which launched a daring strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad's (JeM) biggest training centre at Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during the wee hours of the day.
Former IAF chief YS Tipnis said: "This action was long awaited. It is better late than never. Indian Air Force pilots lived up to their motto-Touch the sky with glory. Pakistan also knows that we have taken this action as a right to our security."
In a piece of advice to Islamabad, former IAF chief Tipnis said: "Pakistan should know that we are prepared to retaliate if such things are repeated. Our action was four times more than their action. So they should think before doing any such thing again. We only killed terrorists and not a single civilian."
"Pakistan should know that nobody is with them as no country renounced India's action. We have to eliminate these terrorist groups. We have to give this message to all terrorist groups. If Pakistan is unable to control them, then we are ready to help Pakistan to fight against terrorism," said Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Tipnis, while talking to ANI.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said: "India has made it clear that terrorism must be eradicated. We had given many chances to Pakistan. Therefore, India was forced to take action so that these things can be stopped."
When asked to comment on Pakistan's threat of retaliation, Gen Singh said: "I would not like to say anything in this regard. However, I must say that whatever they (Pakistan) want to do, they must do after giving due consideration to it. They have been told where Balakot is."
Briefing the press about IAF strikes on JeM targets, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Tuesday morning: "In an intelligence-led operation in the early hours of Tuesday, 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 JeM," said Gokhale.
"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," he said.
Sharing the spirit at the all-party meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told ANI: "I am happy that all parties in one voice praised the security forces and supported the government's anti-terror operations."
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who attended the all-party meeting, said: "We have appreciated the efforts of our forces. They always have our support to end terrorism. It was a clean operation, which specifically targeted terrorists and terror camps."
BJP president Amit Shah, while addressing a public meeting in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, said: "The nation got soothing news in the morning itself today. It was the desire of the whole of the nation that an operation should be carried out so that Pulwama is not repeated."
All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi hailed the IAF strike on JeM terror camp, stating that India has the right to self-defence. "India has the right to attack in self-defence," he said.
JDU leader KC Tyagi said: "Our salutation to the Indian Air Force pilots who destroyed terror organisation JeM commanders and camps in just two weeks. The whole nation is with the IAF."
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said: "We have done what any self-respecting country would do. We are proud of what our forces have done for us. They are our shield, and they have behaved exactly like a shield. We are very proud. Salute to our fighters."
Former Army chief General Bikram Singh said: "It is an excellent operation that has been undertaken. It was certain that it will happen. It was a writing on the wall as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced it. We have seen that earlier when the PM announced after Uri, we went for Surgical Strike-1. This is Surgical Strike-2."
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal told ANI: "First of all, we must congratulate our Air Force for a quick and targeted response. That is how we will send the message to Pakistan and to the terrorist organisations. We all stand with the Air Force. I am so happy that the Mirages have come to use."
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said: "In spite of providing so many pieces of evidence against terrorist groups like JeM, Pakistan did not do anything to stop them. This strike was necessary. I congratulate Prime Minister Modi and IAF for this strike."
Talking to ANI in Bhopal, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said: "This is the rise of a new India under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. We will take the avenge of every drop of the blood of our martyrs. We will break the backbone of terrorism. I salute the brave hearts of IAF."
Congress leader Tom Vadakkan said: "We salute IAF, Indian Navy and Indian Army. They have been the heroes of our historic step that has been taken. We are proud of them. We believe that this country will worship them until the end. We are proud of our forces."
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said: "It is necessary to display power. Howsoever good we may be, the world only understands the language of power. Apart from sprituality and culture, we also need to show our strength to the world."
"We congratulate the Government of India and the Indian Air Force for exactly responding to the feelings and anger of millions of Indians," said Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi of the RSS.
Ashok Behuria, a defence expert, told ANI: "As per the media reports, there were 12 Indian aircraft involved in the operation. They struck at three different places, namely, Chakothi, Balakot, and Muzaffarabad. The targets were terror camps. This can be called surgical strike 2.

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First Published: Feb 26 2019 | 10:41 PM IST

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