Balakot Madrasa ‘Destroyed’ by India Found Intact: Report
Pakistani reporters and troops visit the site of an Indian airstrike in Jaba, near Balakot, Pakistan. Image used for representational purpose only. 
Pakistani reporters and troops visit the site of an Indian airstrike in Jaba, near Balakot, Pakistan. Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo: AP)

Balakot Madrasa ‘Destroyed’ by India Found Intact: Report

Pakistan military took a group of international media personnel and foreign diplomats on a tour of the seminary and its surrounding areas in Balakot on Wednesday, 10 April, where India carried out a counter-terror operation on JeM's biggest training camp 43 days ago.

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district on 14 February.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on 26 February. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an IAF pilot, who was handed over to India on 1 March.

Also Read : Despite Balakot, Banihal Bomber’s Note Shows Pulwama-Type Strike

Students Inside Madrassa, Ditch Where India Dropped Payload Seen

According to a report by BBC Urdu, the group was flown from Islamabad in a helicopter to Jabba in Balakot. They visitors trekked for about one-and-a-half hour to reach the madrassa on the top of a mountain surrounded by lush green trees.

The group, while going up, also saw a ditch on a hillside where Indian jets dropped its payload, according to Pakistan military.

About 150 students, aged 12-13, were present inside the seminary building and were being taught Quran when the group reached inside the madrassa, they said.

The visit by the group lasted for about 20 minutes and the participants were allowed to take pictures and even some of them spoke to the teachers present there.

Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor held formal and informal chat with the reporters.

"This is an old madrassah and has always been like this," he said, indicating that Indian claim of hitting it was not true.

This was the first formal visit of foreign media and diplomats to the place about which India claimed that its strike killed scores of militants.

The purpose of organising the trip was apparently to fortify Pakistan’s claim that Indian failed to destroy any structure or kill anyone during the ariel attack of 26 February which brought the two nations to the verge of a war, he said.

Also Read : From Pulwama to Balakot: Pakistan’s Four Lies Busted

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