R&AW picked 5 JeM camps, but here is why Balakot was zeroed in on
New Delhi, Feb 27: To avenge the Pulwama attack, India needed a quick response against the terror sanctuaries in Pakistan.
During the various high-level meetings that were held in the aftermath of the attack on February 14, it was decided that air power would be used to neutralise the targets. The Research and Analysis Wing was asked to identified terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in particular.
Among the 5 terror camps identified by the R&AW, the one at Balakot was chosen to be the prime target. The Balakot camp was chosen for several reasons. First and foremost, it was one of the biggest training facilities of the JeM. Moreover it was run by Yusuf Azhar, one of the brains behind the Kandahar hijack. He is also the brother in law of JeM chief, Maulana Masood Azhar, who was released following the Kandahar hijack.
In addition these factors, Balakot was a preferred target considering the size of the facility and the number of terrorists is housed. Furthermore the Abdul Ghazi one of the masterminds of the Pulwama attack too trained at this camp.
The Balakot facility is one of the biggest and is housed in a sprawling campus that spread 7 acres. It has all the high-tech facilities and it has been training fidayeens to strike both at India and Afghanistan for the past 15 years.
Highly placed sources say that another reason Balakot was chosen was because it was away from civilian population. India at no cost wanted any sort of civilian casualties and hence Balakot became the ideal target.
The officer also explained that India wanted to hit only at a terror facility and not at any of the civilians or military targets in Pakistan. To cross the border and strike at a terror camp is not violative of any norms as we have the right to self defence against those who spread terror on our soil, the officer also explained.