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Defence experts react on India's biggest strike on Balakot's JeM training camp

Updated : February 26, 2019 02:00 PM IST

India has struck biggest Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp in Balakot. PV Naik, Former Air Chief Marshal, Sharat Sabharwal, Former Indian Ambassador to Pakistan, Nitin Gokhale, National Security Analyst and Lt General DS Hooda spoke at length about the attack.

Air Chief Marshal Naik said that India has upped the ante with regards to responding to terror. “The effect of this is that now they will think 50 to 100 times more before putting in any other terrorist attack on to Indian soil,” he added.

“The response from Pakistan would be total denial which they have already started auctioning. If they acknowledge that some damage has been done then they will try and minimize the damage. If they accept it as an attack then they will try and raise world opine that India has attacked us,” Naik said.

“What we should continue on insisting is what the fact is, that it is not a provocation, it is not an attack on Pakistan military or civil target. It is an attack on a terrorist organization training camps,” he further added.

Talking about the attack, Former Indian Ambassador to Pakistan, Sharat Sabharwal said, “It is a very good statement, it gives the backdrop in which this action took place, the February 14 attack - the fact that Jaish-e-Mohammed, a prescribed organisation, has been operating from Pakistan with impunity, has mounted a number of attacks against us and that there was credible Intelligence that they were planning further attacks besides bombings etc. in various parts of the country. Therefore, as the foreign secretary said, it was a pre-emptive strike at the biggest camp in Balakot. This Mansehra area has housed training facilities of various terror outfits operating against India for a long time. Since the 90s, we have been hearing it because it is close enough to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) and yet not in POK, and that is where these camps seems to have been struck. So, I think we have laid out our cards very well. He explained that the intent was not to cause any collateral damage to the civilians and I would say that this is a very good statement, which explains the backdrop in which this action has taken place and why we took it,” he said.

National Security Analyst, Nitin Gokhale said, “Except for making noises, I do not think Pakistan has the capability or stomach to initiate retaliatory act because Indian air defence would be on full alert.”

Reacting on the attack, Lt General DS Hooda said, “My first reaction is that India has done the appropriate thing. There was a need to send a strong message across, there was a need to send a message particularly to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) who had openly admitted to carving out the attack. The foreign secretary’s statement is very measured in what he had said. I think this was something that India needed to do and I am glad that they have done it."
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