Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh on Saturday claimed that India had carried out three “cross-border strikes” against terrorists in the last five years, ANI reported. Singh added that he will only talk about two of these “beyond the border” strikes and not the third.
“In the last five years, three times we have crossed the border and conducted successful strikes,” Singh said at a rally in Karnataka’s Mangaluru. “I will provide information on two, but not the third. Once in Uri, our soldiers were killed by terrorists coming from Pakistan, then our soldiers had responded. Next was after Pulwama. The third one I will not disclose.” He added that India was not weak anymore.
On September 29, 2016, the Indian Army claimed to have carried out “surgical strikes on terror launchpads” across the Line of Control to neutralise alleged infiltrators the previous night. The strikes followed an attack on an Army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, in which 17 Indian soldiers were killed.
The second attack that Singh mentioned was carried out last month. The air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 were carried out in response to a terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, which killed 40 soldiers.
A day after the cross-border strike, India and Pakistan engaged in aerial skirmishes. On February 27, the Pakistani military claimed it had shot down two IAF jets – one had crashed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the other fell in Jammu and Kashmir. India has maintained that Pakistan shot down one MiG-21 aircraft of the IAF while the Indian Air Force shot down a Pakistani F-16 jet during the dogfight. Pakistan had also managed to capture IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was released in a goodwill gesture and returned home on March 1.