R&AW mapped Balakot 15 years back, but it needed guts to hit it
New Delhi, Mar 01: The Balakot terror facility of the Jaish-e-Mohammad had been on the radar of the Research and Analysis Wing for over 15 years.
Balakot was a known terrorist camp. It is not now, but 15 years back itself, we had mapped it out, intelligence officials tell OneIndia. These targets were on the radar of the Indian establishment for long.
Prior to planning the surgical strikes, Balakot was discussed. However India did not want a hurried operation at Balakot and thought it would be better to test the waters in the form of a surgical strike first. After hitting Balakot meant entering deep into Pakistan and hitting the target.
Although the agencies were aware of a massive build up of terrorists at Balakot, they was no green signal from the government. Former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing Amar Bhushan confirms that they had mapped Balakot 15 years ago. However there was no signal from the government to hit it. It is one of the biggest and most dangerous facilities of the JeM and it ought to have been hit long back, Bhushan explains.
Since then there have been many times that we wanted to hit the camp. These targets were on the radar of the Indian establishment for long, Bhushan also says.
I am sure that in 2016, before the surgical strikes were carried out, this option on Balakot would have been considered. However it appears that the decision to test the waters before going for a strike at Balakot would have been weighed in.
With regard to the number of terrorists killed in the operation, Amar Bhushan says that the numbers really dont matter. The fact is that an identified camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad has been hit. It was a regular structured base, where terrorists were trained.
I would say that by hitting the camp, India has conveyed a very strong message.
The other message that we have conveyed is that we know where they are are and what support they are getting. I am sure that the loses have been great in number. I cannot believe it when someone says that the terror camps would have been emptied.
Pakistan earlier would hold a prayer meeting and name them. Now they have completely stopped publishing the names.
Back in the day, we would codify the names of those who died in the Kashmir conflict and issue it. That is when they started believing us. Don't worry about the numbers for now, the names and figures will be out soon, says Amar Bhushan.