Confirming the reports that claimed that India carried out strikes in Pakistan, Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, in a media briefing, said that the attack on terror camps in Balakot was not in retaliation to Pulwama but was a pre-emptive strike as JeM was planning more attacks on the country.
In the worst ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in 1989, a suicide bomber on February 14 rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing at least 44 troopers and leaving the security established stunned. Terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed the responsibility of the attack.
JeM is headed by Maulana Masood Azhar. The terror group is headquartered in Bahawalpur.
Gokhale asserted that the selection of the target was done so as to avoid civilian casualties.
Reports on Tuesday morning claimed that 12 Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets dropped 1,000 kg of bombs on the said terror camps and the casualties from the operation stood between 200 and 300. "A large number of terrorists and fidayeen operatives have been eliminated," Gokhale said in the briefing.
Gokhale said that India has been providing information about JeM training camps to Pakistan, repeatedly urging the country to act against the terrorist group that was also responsible for the Parliament and Pathankot attacks.
However, Pakistan has not taken any concrete action against JeM, added Gokhale.
Gokhale said the terror camps are headed by Yusuf Azhar, who is the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, who India has been seeking to be named as a global terrorist.
The Pakistan government had made a commitment not to allow its soil to be used for terror. Gokhale said India expected Pakistan to live up to its commitment.
Reacting to the Pulwama attack, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier said, "War is not the solution." He, however, said that Pakistan will retaliate if India takes any military action on Pakistan's land.
(With inputs from agencies.)