In an about-face, Indian international minister Sushma Swaraj admitted on Thursday that its so-called air strike within the Balakot space of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa didn’t trigger any casualties – army or civilian.
“No Pakistani soldier or citizen died within the air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) throughout the border in Balakot,” she mentioned whereas addressing an election gathering within the metropolis of Ahmedabad.
New Delhi claimed on February 26 that the IAF jets had carried out what it referred to as ‘preemptive strike’ in Balakot in opposition to a camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) – the group it alleges was behind the February 14 killing of its 40 troopers within the Pulwama space of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
The identical night, Indian International Secretary Vijay Ok Gokhale boasted at a information convention that the “greatest coaching camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad” was focused by the IAF by which “a really giant variety of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and teams of jihadis who have been being educated for fidayeen motion have been eradicated.”
The jingoistic Indian media readily purchased the declare and began parroting the official model, although Pakistan shortly allowed native and international media entry to the location the place IAF jets had “jettisoned their payloads”.
Impartial international consultants later contradicted the Indian declare with the assistance of satellite tv for pc imagery which confirmed no infrastructural harm on the website. The Pakistani army took international army attaches and worldwide media on a tour of the world to reveal India’s pack of lies as a result of the one compound within the neighborhood is a madrassah which stood intact.
Swaraj claimed that the IAF had been instructed to not hurt any Pakistani citizen or soldier and solely goal the JeM camp itself.
A day after the Balakot incursion, Pakistan Air Power (PAF) jets carried out strikes in IOK after which shot down two IAF warplanes in dogfights, capturing one of many pilots alive, a lot to the embarrassment of New Delhi.
India claimed that its air power had additionally downed an F-16 jet within the dogfight – a declare that it couldn’t substantiate with proof and which has been shred to items by worldwide aviation consultants and impartial journalists.
Reacting to India’s about-face on Balakot, the Pakistani army’s spokesperson hit out on the Indian authorities for mendacity to the worldwide group and the Indian public concerning the airstrike.
“Lastly the reality is out below floor actuality compulsions. Hopefully, so will likely be about false Indian claims of the surgical strike carried out on Pakistani soil in 2016,” Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, DG ISPR, wrote on his official Twitter deal with. “Higher late than by no means,” he added.
Lastly the reality below floor actuality compulsions. Hopefully, so will likely be about different false Indian claims ie surgical strike 2016, denial of taking pictures down of two IAF jets by PAF and declare about F16. Higher late than by no means.#TruthPrevails#PakistanZindabad https://t.co/Kim8CZTdlJ
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) April 18, 2019