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No Pak soldier or citizen died in Balakot air strike: Sushma Swaraj


Ahmedabad, Apr 18: No Pakistani soldier or citizen died in the air strike on a terror camp at Balakot in Pakistan in February, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday.

Addressing women party workers here, she said Indian military was given a "free hand" in the operation but was clearly told that no Pakistani citizen should be killed and also there be "not be even a scratch" on the Pakistani army.

File photo of Sushma Swaraj

"Our armed forces were told to target only Jaish-e- Mohammed which was behind the Pulwama terror attack and they did just that - destroyed their camp and returned," the senior BJP leader said.

The IAF had struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training camp in Pakistan on February 26, in response to the February 14 Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. Swaraj said the air strike was carried out in self- defence.

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"When we carried out the air strike, we had told the international community that we took the step only in self- defence," she said. She said the entire international community supported India over the air strike.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swaraj said he has emerged as a top international leader who sets the agenda for the world.

On the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Swaraj said the then Congress-led UPA government had failed to take along other countries to isolate Pakistan despite the fact that 40 persons belonging to 14 countries were also killed in the strike.

Pakistan had objected to the invitation extended to India for a meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi last month, but the host county UAE snubbed Islamabad, she said.


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