Shivamogga (Karnataka) [India], Apr 15 (ANI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said Pakistan claims to be a victim of terrorism but does nothing to destroy the training camps located on its soil which forced India to conduct an airstrike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp in Balakot to avenge the February 14 Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Pakistan says they are victims of terrorism. But when JeM claims responsibility for an attack and they have their training camps in Pakistan, then is it not Pakistan's responsibility to destroy these camps? But they did not do so and hence, we attacked Balakot," she said at a rally here.
The Indian Air Force had on February 26 carried out an airstrike in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province's Balakot in Pakistan, in response to the Pulwama terror attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel. The attack was orchestrated by the JeM.
India had said that it had killed "a large number" of terrorists during the airstrike and destroyed JeM's largest training camp.
The Balakot airstrike was followed by a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani Air Forces in which a Pakistani F-16 jet and an Indian fighter plane were shot down.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistani authorities but was released on March 1 as a "peace of gesture".
Several opposition leaders like Kapil Sibal and Mamata Banerjee raised questions over the airstrike and its impact following reports by a section of foreign media raising doubts over it. (ANI)