Surgical strike 2.0: Where is Balakot in Pakistan?
New Delhi, Feb 26: Balakot is one of the main cities of Mansehra District, in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It serves as the chief city of Balakot Tehsil, which is the largest Tehsil of Mansehra District. It has also a Union Council and administers the many surrounding smaller towns and villages.
The town was completely destroyed in a destructive earthquake on 8 October 2005. But was later rebuilt with the assistance of the Government of Pakistan and Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims (SPAPEV), a Saudi relief organisation.
This faultline - the Balakot-Bagh fault - is said to be the source of the Kashmir earthquake. The earthquake flattened Balakot, a town that was home to 30,000 people, about 160km north of Islamabad. The eventual death toll from the districts around the town was put at 73,000, according to Pakistan media.
The fault almost passes through the main bazar of Balakot. It follows the hilly area to the north up to Allai and leads to the Bagh in Jammu and Kashmir from the villages of Balakot like Kanshian and Jabri Kaleesh.