Why IAF Airstrike Chosen Balakot?

Balakot is a town in Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp which is one o...

Balakot is a town in Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp which is one of the biggest camp struck by Indian Air Force in Balakot is where the Pulwama terror attack was planned. It was the home to 200-300 JeM recruits at any given time.

The sources have also released photos of this camp which is located around 80 km from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir or PoK - that show it included facilities like a firing range, swimming pool and a gymnasium. The huge facility was located on a hilltop and hidden by thick forests.

Balakot was the place were Syed Ahmed of Raebareli and Shah Ismail waged the Jihad against the Sikh Kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Balakot is also the gateway of the Khagan valley which is bounded by the east and the south Kashmir. That's one of the main reason why It was JeM's headquarters.

According to India Today, In December 2017, Abdullah, the son of JeM chief Masood Azahar underwent advanced training here. Later, he did a 10-day refresher training at the camp. This camp was controlled by Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Yousuf Azhar, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

Moreover, the planning for the Pulwama was also done here. 40 CRPF men were kil**led on February 14 when suicide bomber Adil Ahmed Dar rammed an explosive-laden vehicle in a bus which was transporting the CRPF convoy. Also Recently, 60 JeM recruits underwent a 3-month training at the Balakot Jaish camp. This included training in sui**cide bom**bings using cars -- like the one in Pulwama.

The Balakot complex had 5-6 barracks with further construction underway to increase the strength. Around 200-300 cadres were always present at the Balakot camp at any given point.

The report also said that Pulwama mastermind Abdul Ghazi, who was kil*led in a shootout last week, was also trained here.

This is also one of the camps where Border Action Teams (BAT) conducts cross-border operations and raids across the LoC. The BATs include commandos from the Pakistan Army and terrorists. It’s these teams that have carried out the beheading of Indian soldiers in the past."JeM was attempting other fidayeen att**acks. India struck the biggest training camp in Balakot. JeM terrorists, trainers, commanders and group of Jihadis eliminated," Gokhale said.

Intelligence agencies are tracking chatter on the other side to assess the damage done by the airstrike, sources said. No major mobilization or unusual activity has been noticed by Pakistani forces till now, said an official.

The report also said that the camp in Balakot was not an ordinary one but a specialized complex with military facilities. It provided training on making Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs, sniping, using drones and water combat.



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All India Daily: Why IAF Airstrike Chosen Balakot?
Why IAF Airstrike Chosen Balakot?
All India Daily
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