Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday convened an all-party meeting to brief the Opposition about the Indian Air Force’s pre-dawn strike on terror camps across the Line of Control. All opposition parties have extended full support to the government and the security forces in the fight against terror, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Earlier on Tuesday, India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed that Indian forces had carried out a “non-military preemptive action” against the biggest camp of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed militant outfit. He said the air strikes had become “absolutely necessary in the face of imminent danger”. A large number of terrorists and trainers of the militant outfit were killed in the attack, he said.
The all-party meeting was held at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan in Delhi and attended by Azad, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brian, and Bhartruhari Mahtab from the Biju Janata Dal, among other leaders. Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley were also present at the meeting.
“We have appreciated the efforts by the forces, they always have our support to end terrorism,” Azad told reporters after the meeting. “Another good thing is that it was a clean operation in which no civilian died and terror camps were specifically targeted.”
At the meeting, Swaraj said she had spoken to United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other foreign leaders about the pre-emptive strike. She said India’s fight is not with Pakistan, but with terror establishments, NDTV reported.
After the meeting, Swaraj said she was happy that all parties had praised the security forces and supported the government’s anti-terror operations in one voice.
Earlier on Tuesday, several Opposition leaders lauded the Indian armed forces for the ‘brave operation’. The operation carried out by a dozen Mirage 2000 jets reportedly destroyed terror camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the strikes were a “necessary step” by the Air Force, NDTV reported. “The armed forces have shown great bravery, congratulations to them,” said the human resource development minister.