“We ensured that no civilians were affected in the attack,” says the Minister of Defense.
The position of the Government of India on the number of terrorists killed in Balakot in the IAF strike was the same as that provided by the Foreign Secretary in his statement, which “did not give a figure,” said Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to journalists in Chennai.
When asked about claims about the numbers of victims of the air strike, she said: “The Foreign Ministry did not give a figure, it gave a statement, that’s the position of the Government of India.”
At a rally in Ahmedabad on March 3, BJP president Amit Shah claimed that more than 250 terrorists were killed in the IAF attack. Earlier, speaking with reporters in Siliguri on March 2, the State Minister of Information Technology and Electronics, Ahluwalia, stated that the attack on Balakot was only to warn and that the government did not want any human victims.
Ms. Sitharaman said, “Well, I can not say now,” when asked if the government would broadcast satellite images of the strike area.
India had run out of patience against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism after 40 CRPF jawans died in a terrorist attack on February 14 in Pulwama. India received a “strong blow” after knowing that terrorist attacks were being planned from there. “We did not make sure that any civilians were affected in the attack,” the minister said.
“It is not a military action”
The attack on Balakot, said Ms. Sitharaman, “was not a military action.” “We, including the previous governments, have been constantly saying that terrorism is emanating from Pakistan. This has been happening for a long time. These terrorists come from Pakistan to attack us. “Not only us, the UPA government had also been testing Pakistan in terror training camps in Pakistan and we should not be attacked by them.”
Although Pakistan has been claiming globally that they are also victims of terror and that Islamabad has not dismantled any terror camp, he said.
“When the terrorist attacks of 26/11 took place in Mumbai, evidence of the participation of Pakistani manipulators was handed over to the government of Pakistan. They have not been brought to justice before the courts, unlike India. We take these terrorists through an appropriate legal process step by step and punish those who attacked our country. Pakistan has never punished any terrorist through its courts, “he said.