ISLAMABAD - Indian government takes big and embarsding u turn over IAF strike in Balakot, Pakistan.
Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj admitted on Thursday that its so-called air strike in the Balakot area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa did not cause any casualties – military or civilian.
“No Pakistani soldier or citizen died in the air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) across the border in Balakot,” she said while addressing an election gathering in the city of Ahmedabad.
New Delhi claimed on February 26 that the IAF jets had carried out what it called ‘preemptive strike’ in Balakot against a camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) – the group it alleges was behind the February 14 killing of its 40 soldiers in the Pulwama area of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
The same evening, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhale boasted at a news conference that the “biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad” was targeted by the IAF in which “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated.”
The jingoistic Indian media readily bought the claim and started parroting the official version, even though Pakistan quickly allowed local and foreign media access to the site where IAF jets had “jettisoned their payloads”.