Pakistan didn’t act against terrorists, so we did: Sitharaman on air strikes
Chennai, Mar 10: Reiterating that the pre-emptive strikes in Pakistan's Balakot were not 'military action', Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India had to carryout strikes on terrorist camps as Islamabad did not act.
On February 26, Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted pre-emptive strike at Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan's Balakot. The government, while confirming the air strike, said that a 'large number of terrorists' were killed.
"It was not a military action, it was a targeted attack on terrorists which actually Pakistan should have done, they didn't...We took decision to hit that nerve centre which was training, funding and giving capacity to what they call Fidayeen. Since we had enough intelligence information to say that that's where it is coming out of, we acted on terror so that no longer goes unattended," Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Chennai.
"One thing is very clear Pakistan wasn't acting on terrorists. It continues to be the country where terrorists are trained, funded, supported by military establishment and sent across. Its theory of using non-state actors to keep terrorism going on continues without disturbance," she added.
The February 26 air strike was seen as India's retaliation to the terrorist attack on CRPF convoy in South Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14 which left 40 security personnel martyred. The very next day after strike at Balakot, Pakistan Air Force fighters had tried entering Indian airspace in Kashmir in a bid to target military installations. But, IAF fighters thwarted the attack and shot down one Pakistani F-16 fighter.
Before that in 2016, India had carried out a surgical strike at terrorist camps across LoC and destroyed several terror launchpads.