Aerial strikes on JeM camp: political leaders laud IAF | Live updates

A number of terrorists at the JeM camp in Balakot were killed, confirms Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

February 26, 2019 11:50 am | Updated February 27, 2019 07:36 am IST

Strict vigil: A file photo of Army men on guard duty near the Line of Control.

Strict vigil: A file photo of Army men on guard duty near the Line of Control.

As Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed on Tuesday that a Jaish-e-Mohamad (JeM) terror camp in Balakot, Pakistan, was destroyed in Indian Air Force (IAF) air strikes early on Tuesday morning, political leaders welcomed the action.

At a briefing, Mr. Gokhale also said a number of terrorists were eliminated in the air strike.

Here are the reactions from political leaders and others:



Air strikes on Pak. terror camps unimaginable: Gangwar

Union Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar on Tuesday said the entire country is proud of the air strikes, which the common people wouldn’t have even “imagined”.

“IAF soldiers returned safe after attacking terrorists. We are proud of our Air Force. The task carried out by them could not have been imagined by the people,” said the Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge).

Everybody can now understand which country is protecting terrorists, Mr. Gangwar said, adding “We want to eliminate terrorists completely. — PTI


Asaduddin Owaisi hails IAF air strikes

AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday hailed the Indian Air Force’s strikes and said the Indian defence forces should be prepared to tackle any retaliatory action.

“I was expecting this sort of response within 2 or 3 days after the Pulwama terror attack. I welcome this step... We stand with the government on this,” Mr. Owaisi told reporters in Hyderabad.

He said, “I am sure that our Navy or Air Force are on alert, if Pakistan wants to take some stupid action [in response to the air strikes].” — PYI


RSS congratulates government

The RSS congratulates the government and the Indian Air Force for the air strikes, saying they have translated into action the angry feelings of Indians following the Pulwama attack.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh general secretary Suresh Joshi in a statement says that these air strikes caused no harm to the Pakistani army and civilians which, he added, is tune with the “Bharatiya” (Indian) culture.

“The entire nation was agitated and angry in the wake of terror attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama. Today the Indian Air Force demolished JeM’s Pakistan-based base camps’ by precision air strikes. We congratulate the government of India and the Indian Air Force for exactly translating the the feelings and anger of millions of Indians,” he says in the statement. - PTI


This will be the start of unlearning process for Pak.: Sajjad Lone

Chairman of People’s Conference in Kashmir Sajad Gani Lone says the air strikes will set a benchmark for deterrence and eventually end the cycle of violence.

“Pacifist to the core I am. But the reality as it stares in our faces is that this retaliatory action will actually be the start of the unlearning process for Pakistan. This will set the benchmark for deterrence. And eventually crowd out cycle of violence,” he said in a tweet.


Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik hails IAF

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik hails the Air Force for its pre-dawn air strikes. “I salute the Indian Air Force for having taken action to protect our country,” he says.


Air strikes underscore resolve and willpower of new India: Amit Shah

The Indian Air Force’s strikes on a terrorist camp in Pakistan underscores the will and resolve of a new India, says BJP president Amit Shah. He asserts that it shows that the country is safe under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong and decisive leadership.

“I congratulate and salute the bravery and valour of our armed forces. Today’s action further demonstrates that India is safe and secure under the strong and decisive leadership of PM Narendra Modi,” he says. “Our New India will not spare any acts of terror and their perpetrators and patrons,” he adds.


Modi is tasting success in rooting out terrorism: Edappadi K. Palaniswamy

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamy lauds the Prime Minister for the air strikes. He commends Mr. Modi for his “bold” efforts against terrorism. Mr. Modi was tasting success in rooting out terrorism, which was threatening the entire world, the Chief Minister says in a statement and congratulates him on behalf of the State people.

“I extend my greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi due to whose bold functioning, a successful air strike has been carried out which has demolished terror camps in Pakistan,” he says.


Chandrababu Naidu hails IAF

“Hail the efforts of Indian Air Force,” tweets N. Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh


Attack was necessary: Kumaraswamy

Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy welcomes the air strikes. Speaking to presspersons at Ramanathpura in Arakalgud taluk, he says they were necessary. "Entire country would stand united on this issue."


A much-needed signal to Pakistan, says Amarinder Singh

"Great job by the IndianAirForce. The IAFStrikes have sent the much needed signal to Pakistan and the terrorists it’s harbouring - don’t think you can get away with acts like the PulwamaAttack . Bravo to the IAF men and my full support for the action," tweets Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.


Our forces are world class, says Ram Madhav

“Every Indian who had the pain and anguish of the martyrdom of our forces is greatly relieved and delighted this morning. Salute to the Air Force for a meticulous operation. Our forces are world class anyway. It is the political will of our PM and team that made all the difference,” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav says.


Air strikes a new ball game: Omar Abdullah

Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, tweets, "We’ve entered a whole new paradigm with the Balakot air strike. The post Uri strike was to avenge our losses, Balakote was a “preemptive strike to prevent an imminent JeM attack”. Totally new ballgame. A number of firsts from Balakote, the two most obvious are the first time air power has been used to strike in side Pakistan during peace times (last time in 1971 was during war) & first time visible, acknowledged use of force to preempt a perceived terror strike."


Nation behind armed forces, says Javadekar

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar hails the air strikes. The entire nation stands firmly behind the armed forces, he says.

“It was a necessary step required for the security of the country ... it was an act of 'maha parakram' [mightily act],” PTI   quotes him as saying.

Narendra Modi had given a free hand to the forces to take necessary action following the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead, he points out.


Rahul Gandhi "salutes'' IAF pilots

Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweets, "I salute the pilots of the IAF."

The Congress also lauds the role of the Indian Air Force in ''keeping Indians safe with its consistent and determined effort.''

“We salute the @IAF_MCC for their consistent & determined effort to keep Indians safe. Jai Hind,” the party says on its official Twitter handle.


IAF pilots have made us proud: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweets, "I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan."


Maharashtra Assembly congratulates armed forces

The Maharashtra Assembly passes a unanimous resolution congratulating the armed forces for carrying out air strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan.

The resolution is moved by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who lauds the Indian Air Force for its bravery.

“We feel proud of our armed forces which did not allow martyrdom of our jawans to go in vain. We proved our might,” he says.


Kamal Haasan praises Air Force

Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) president Kamal Haasan 'welcomes' the air strikes and ’salutes’ the valour of the “heroes.” The country is “proud of its heroes,” he says in a tweet.

“Our 12 (apparently fighter jets) return safely home after wreaking havoc on terrorist camps in Pakistan. India is proud of its heroes. I salute their valour,” he says.


Mamata Banerjee lauds IAF

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hails IAF for carrying out the air strikes.

“IAF also means India’s Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind,” she tweets.


It's a fight Against terror, No one else, says former director of NSC, Afghanistan

Many thanks to IAF_MCC for hitting terror outfits in Balakot of Mansehra, PAK. The area has been known to have the so- called Jihadi Training Camps since era of Zia-ul-Haq. Its a fight Against Terror, No one else! IndiaStrikesBack," tweets Tawab Ghorchang, Former Director of Public Affairs and spokesperson of The National Security Council of Afghanistan.

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