Stunned by the air strikes, Pakistan on Tuesday said it will give an “appropriate reply” to the Indian action, which it described as “grave aggression”.
Soon after Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale made the official announcement about the air strike, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan has called a meeting to discuss the issue.
“It is a grave aggression by India. We had told the world community that such a step could be taken by India,” he told state-owned Pakistan Television.
He said Pakistan reserves the right to give a “proper reply” and it will give it.
Earlier Gokhale said India had hit the largest Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, eliminating a “large number” of terrorists, including top commanders.
The terror camp in a thick forest area atop a hill was led by Ustad Gauri, brother-in-law of JeM chief Masood Azhar, Gokhale said, making a statement before the media, hours after the air strikes using Mirage 2000 were carried out.
He said the “pre-emptive” strike by India had become absolutely necessary as there was credible information that JeM, which recently carried out terror attack in Pulwama, was planning further attacks in this country.
A large number of Jaish terrorists, including top commanders, trainers and those terrorists who were to be the ‘fidayeen’ (suicide attackers) were eliminated in the “non-military” air strike, the Foreign Secretary said.