Here’s How Newspapers in India & Pakistan Covered the IAF Strikes
India, in the wee hours of Tuesday, 26 February, bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
On Wednesday, 27 February, Pakistani jets violated the Indian airspace and dropped bombs in Nowshera sector in J&K’s Rajouri district on the way out.
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The pre-dawn operation of Tuesday was described as "non-military" and "preemptive" struck a resort-style camp in a forest that provided a dozen Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force(IAF) with a "sitting duck target," sources said. The strike is the first by the IAF inside Pakistan after the 1971 war.
Here’s how the front pages of newspapers – in India and Pakistan – looked a day after the IAF strikes in Balakot.
‘India’s Avenging Force’
The Times of India's headline resonated the impact of the air strikes conducted by India.
Rajat Pandit, the author of the report, described the strikes as a "well-choreographed ballet in the skies".
'India Bombs Jaish Camp in Pakistan Balakot'
The Hindu's reportage on the air strikes was precise and clutter-free sans over-the-top graphic visualisation. The supporting angles of 'Opposition hails IAF for precision strike' and 'India gets support from Australia, France' tells about the mood in the country.
'India Stikes Terror, Deep in Pak'
The Indian Express had a special layout with a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi right on top.
Hindustan Times' front-page expressed the excitement with an all-capital headline on the strikes.
‘Choose Wisely’, Says the Telegraph
While the others praised Indian forces and the government for the air strikes targetting terror camps, The Telegraph cautioned with its article title: ‘Strike thirst met, time to choose wisely’.
The article also talks about “several reputable publications felt that the differing positions (New Delhi claiming heavy losses for Pakistan and Islamabad insisting it suffered little damage) might offer room for de-escalation unless hotheads on both sides dominate the decision-making.
In Pakistan, 'India's 'Fictitious' Air Strike Imperils Regional Peace'
The Express Tribune's front page called out India for its 'uncalled for aggression'. "Pakistan on Tuesday tore to pieces a ‘reckless and fictitious’ Indian claim that its warplanes have launched “air strikes” against an alleged terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistani territory and inflicted heavy casualties," read the article.
It talked about "chest thumping" by the Indian media, before declaring that India claims a "pack of lies".
'Pakistan Vows Response to India' in Dawn
"Tensions in the perpetually troubled Pak-India ties had been growing since the Feb 14 attack in Pulwama on Indian security forces and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had at the very start of the crisis authorised his security forces to respond," read the article in Dawn, one of the leading dailies in Pakistan.
The photos on the front page show people with poster of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a red cross across his face and the photos of Pakistani leaders.
'Fighting Begins on LoC After India's 'Failed' Airstrike'
According to Pakistan Today's front page, the war has already begun after India's "failed" air strike along the Line of Control.
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