As we had reported earlier, the Pakistani Army has claimed that the Indian Air Force had entered Pakistani territory and reached as far as Balakot, a town in Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
Reportedly, 12 Mirage jets took part in the Operation and 1000 Kg of bombs were dropped on terror camps across the Line of Control, destroying them utterly.
The Indian Air Force reaching Balakot indicates that the IAF went beyond Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and entered Pakistani territory itself. It is located in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
Balakot is 50 km from the Line of Control. More worryingly for Pakistan, Balakot is less than 200 km via road from Islamabad and less than 70 km from Abbottabad. That India was able to penetrate into Pakistani territory, as admitted by the Pakistani Army itself, goes on to show that it was a major success for India.
For Pakistan, there are two possible scenarios. Either it was not aware that Indian aircraft had penetrated their defenses into their territory or they were aware but could not do much about it. From the Pakistani perspective, it is difficult to say which is worse.
There is also a narrative being furthered by Pakistanis that Balakot actually refers to a small village in PoK. Such a village might as well exist but it’s not entirely confirmed that it does. Although it is possible that the Balakot the Pakistani Army was referring to is a small village in PoK, it is extremely unlikely since the Pakistani Army would have gone the extra mile to convey that India did not transgress upon its own territory. it would be in its own interest to avoid such confusion over a name.
Even Pakistani media claims that the other “Bala Kote” in Poonch is nowhere near Muzaffarabad as also mentioned by the Spokesperson of the Pakistani Army.
The debate about which Balakot the DG ISPR has acknowledged needs to be resolved by him, through a clarification – but if you look at the map, the “other” Bala Kote, in Poonch, is nowhere near Muzaffarabad–which he mentions.
Maybe there is a better explanation out there. pic.twitter.com/yaTWtn9o6n
— Mosharraf Zaidi (@mosharrafzaidi) February 26, 2019
ANI also cited sources to confirm that terror camp in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region was destroyed by IAF based on locations provided by on ground intelligence sources.
Source: Air strikes in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region were based on locations provided by on ground intelligence sources. https://t.co/9BVnfSsIXB
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
An official statement is still awaited from the Indian government on the matter.