Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Clearly it was a question of military supremacy of two nuclear nations in South Asia. Following the Pakistan-patronized jihadist attack in Pulwama district in India, New Delhi now has given a befitting response by launching airstrike on Pakistani soil, which, according to media reports, has killed hundreds of the members of notorious Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) jihadist outfit. Through this successful airstrike, members of the Indian Air Force have left a strong message with Islamabad – don’t mess with India. It is well anticipated that, Pakistan has no capacity of giving any response to this airstrike as any such attempt from Pakistani side would escalate tensions between these two South Asian nuclear powers, which would finally result in another Indo-Pakistan war.
Sources in India indicate similar airstrikes will take place on the jihadist launchpads based in Pakistan in the coming weeks. Indian army has made firm determination of eliminating the jihadist bases inside Pakistan as well as totally destroying Pakistan’s terror-patronizing strength.
Following the jihadist attack in Pulwama, India vowed to avenge the bombing, and took a number of retaliatory steps – killing the attack’s mastermind in an encounter and increasing basic customs duty on Pakistan’s exports were two of them.
Following the successful airstrike, India’s external affairs ministry said that New Delhi carried out an intelligence-led, non-military strike in Balakot, located in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. A large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, and senior commanders were eliminated, the ministry said.
Earlier, sources had provided more detail: twelve Mirage 2000 jets from the Indian Air Force carried out a pre-dawn strike after taking off from Gwalior and crossing the Line of Control. The strike was planned days in advance.
According to Pakistan’s military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, the Indian fighter jets crossed the line that divides much of Kashmir between India and Pakistan, a boundary that is not considered an international border.
He said they then dropped a “payload” near Balakot, which is about 25 miles away, just inside the Pakistani province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Faced with a “timely and effective response” from the Pakistan Air Force, the Indian jets released their “payload in haste while escaping,” the spokesman wrote on Twitter early Tuesday. “No casualties or damage.” He later posted a photo of what he said was debris from the strike, saying the bombs fell “in the open.”
Tuesday’s operation appears to be the most significant retaliatory move by India against its neighbor since 2016. That year, militants stormed an Indian army base near the town of Uri in Kashmir, killing 19 soldiers.
Can Pakistan make a counter-move?
In my personal opinion, through India’s successful airstrike, terror-patron Pakistan got a strong slap on its ugly pro-jihadist face. In response, Pakistan really can do nothing than attempting any attack on the Indian territory illegally, which would ultimately isolate Islamabad. Moreover, a poverty-stricken Pakistan cannot afford getting isolating by making any foul bid of countering Indian airstrike as India did not attack any civilian area in Pakistan. Instead, India had launched the attack on the jihadist camps. Clearly, such attack will help India is getting international appreciation. Western policymakers, who are also against jihad and radical Islamic terrorism will applaud India’s anti-jihad offensives.
Remaining jihadist launch-pads inside Pakistan should be eliminated:
For the sake of regional security as well as international peace, Indian authorities now need to consider similar air offensives on the jihadist bases inside Pakistan for the sake of regional security in particular and international peace in general. Global communities must stand in defense of India in this noble mission.
Blitz, being a newspaper with strict editorial policy of confronting radical Islam and jihad; denouncing anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial; and promoting interfaith harmony conveys warmest greetings to the members of Indian Air Force, the government and people of India on this successful airstrike on jihadist camps inside Pakistan.
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor of Blitz. Follow him on Twitter @Salah_Shoaib