Experts Dub IAF Strikes ‘Aggressive Response,’ Wonder What’s Next
The strikes came 12 days after the Pulwama terror attack.
The Indian Air Force on Tuesday, 26 February, carried out multiple aerial strikes at a major terror camp in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, reportedly destroying them completely, 12 days after the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred.
As reported by ANI, 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation and dropped bombs weighing 1000 kg on "terror camps across LoC."
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The strikes involving several fighter jets of the Indian Air Force successfully destroyed camps belonging to Pakistan-based terror outfits in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, sources told PTI.
Here’s what experts and analysts had to say about the current situation:
Former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal told The Quint, “It is a very strong deterrent. It sends the message that if India can strike there, in Khyber Pakhtunakhwa, then it can also reach other cities inside Pakistan.”
‘Pretty Aggressive Response by Modi, IAF’
Dhruva Jaishankar, Fellow, Foreign Policy at Brookings India, said, "There's plenty of intel on JeM activities at #Balakot from 2001 onwards, and not just by India. Al-Murabitoon (JeM branch) rallies, training, etc. on a facility at Besyan Chowk in Balakot. Attacks on LoC, against Americans in Afghanistan, and in Pakistan were planned there."
Vipin Narang, Associate professor of political science at MIT, tweeted, "Pretty aggressive response by Modi and IAF. Question is what they hit and whether Pakistan will take it without retaliating."
Joshua White, Associate Professor of Practice and Fellow at John Hopkins, Non-Resident Fellow at Brookings Institute, tweeted, "If confirmed, IAF ingress into KP would be quite embarrassing to the Pakistani military; I remember how, after Abbottabad, the military was wondering aloud whether India could do what the U.S. did in terms of gaining access to Pakistani airspace.”
"That said, remember that fighter jets fly *very* fast, and while a place like Balakot isn’t a completely unforeseeable target, it’s not a military installation or a key line of communication that the Pak mil would have focused intently on protecting," he tweeted.
‘This Crisis Seemed Likely to Conclude with Indian Use of Force’
Christopher Clary, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University at Albany, said that according to his analysis, “pressures” will be put on “Pakistan to respond”.
KC Singh, former Diplomat and Strategic Affairs Experts, tweeted, “India bombed terrorist camps not military targets. Pak can’t retaliate in kind as India has no such camps 2.Pak can keep claiming no damage & ignore raid, but GOI may reveal satellite imagery for PR. 3.Pak may allege civilian deaths, widening target range. ”
Lt General DS Hooda told CNBC-Awaaz, "India did surgical strike at the right time in right way."
Former IAF Chief Marshal PV Naik told CNBC-TV18, “India has upped ante with reference to responding to terror. India must insist that this is not a provocation but an attack on terror. Envy the pilots that were a part of operation, give full credit to them.”
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