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‘Salute IAF Pilots’: Rahul Gandhi Leads Oppn Applause as India Destroys Jaish Camps in Pakistan

Also reacting to the strikes, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed delight and said that "if true, this was not a small strike". However, he said that he would wait for official word.


Updated:February 28, 2019, 12:22 PM IST
‘Salute IAF Pilots’: Rahul Gandhi Leads Oppn Applause as India Destroys Jaish Camps in Pakistan
File photo of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Days after Pulwama attack, India on Tuesday carried out pre-dawn strikes in Pakistan . Reports say that terror launch pads across the LoC in Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad sectors have been completely destroyed along with terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) control rooms.

Reacting to the news, Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet wrote, "I salute the pilots of the IAF.”

While officials in the air force refused to comment, saying that they have nothing to reply, sources told CNN-News18 that the force was targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) hideout in Balakot sector with laser-guided bombs. "Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage," Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the army, said in a tweet. "Indian Air Force violated Line of Control Pakistan. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircraft gone back," he tweeted. The aircraft dropped 1,000 kg laser-guided bombs on a major terror camp across the Line of Control, completely destroying it, news agency ANI reported, quoting Air Force sources. Reacting to the strikes, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed delight and said that "if true, this was not a small strike". However, he said that he would wait for official word.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has called the strike "self-defence" as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) he said is "our own territory".

UP Minister Siddharth Nath Singh also lauded the Indian Air Force, saying that the IAF has showcased bravery while carrying out the strike. He also hailed PM Modi and said that such actions were possible only because India has Modi as the prime minister.

Immediately after, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha has also congratulated the IAF on conducting successful strikes in Pakistan.

"I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan," says Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The Aam Admi Party(AAP)'s official Twitter handle shared a GIF from the famous Bollywood Sunny Deol-starrer film, Border, to celebrate IAF strikes in Pakistan

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also reacted to the ongoing developments and wrote, "Jai Hind."

Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has congratulated IAF for the strikes in Pakistan.

Lauding air force over the feat, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee created a new acronym for the Indian Air Force. She said that IAF means "India's Amazing Fighters".

Speaking to CNN-News18, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that he is proud of the Indian Army. "We have told Pakistan that our martyrs' sacrifices will not go waste. I am an Indian and I feel proud today. I am waiting for more information but I feel proud of what information I have got till now."

India's operation comes two week after the terror attack in Pulwama in which over 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed when a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed exploded a car full of bombs next to a security convoy.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is led by Masood Azhar, had claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack and had also posted videos of the bomber, who had joined the terror group a year ago.

On September 29, 2016, the army had carried out surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in retaliation to an attack on its base in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri earlier that month.

Soon after the Pulwama terror attack, India had appealed to the international community to back the naming of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a "UN designated terrorist".

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