'One Truth Out, Wait for 2016's Reality': Pak Takes a Dig at India Hours After Sushma's Balakot Strike Claim
File photo of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. (Image: PTI)
Ahmedabad: Hours after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that "no Pakistani soldier or civilian died in Balakot terror strike", Pakistan latched onto the statement to attack India over its "false claims".
Addressing women party workers here on Thursday, the Union minister said Indian military was given a "free hand" in the operation but was clearly told that no Pakistani civilian should be killed and also there be "not even a scratch" on the Pakistani army.
"Our armed forces were told to target only Jaish-e-Mohammed which was behind the Pulwama terror attack and they did just that — destroyed their camp and returned," the senior BJP leader said.
Swaraj's comment comes in contrast to several reports that have quoted top government sources as saying that the Indian Air Force air strike in the town of Balakot killed about 300 militants.
The IAF had struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training camp in Pakistan on February 26, in response to the February 14 Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. Swaraj said the air strike was carried out in self-defence. "When we carried out the air strike, we had told the international community that we took the step only in self-defence," she said.
Latching onto her statement, Pakistan Army spokesperson Asif Ghafoor tweeted, "Finally the truth under ground reality compulsions. Hopefully, so will be about other false Indian claims ie surgical strike 2016, denial of shooting down of 2 IAF jets by PAF and claim about F16. Better late than never (sic)."
Swaraj further said the entire international community supported India over the air strike. Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swaraj said he has emerged as a top international leader who sets the agenda for the world.
On the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Swaraj said the then Congress-led UPA government had failed to take along other countries to isolate Pakistan despite the fact that 40 persons belonging to 14 countries were also killed in the strike.
Pakistan had objected to the invitation extended to India for a meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi last month, but the host county UAE snubbed Islamabad, she said.
(With inputs from PTI)