No Pakistani killed in Balakot air strike: India finally admits

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News Desk |

Maj. General Asif Ghafoor, Director General, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), has expressed satisfaction over the confession of Sushma Swaraj, India’s Minister for External Affairs, that no Pakistani soldier or civilian was killed in the Feb 26 Indian airforce strike at Balakot, in the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

DG ISPR in a social media post wrote, “Finally the truth underground reality compulsions.”

He also hoped that just like admitting the the earlier claims of the Indian government were false, India would also tell the truth about its other failures.

DG ISPR, on the other hand, accompanied national and international media to the strike site where only a couple of trees were the causalities of the IAF strike.

Ghafoor wrote: “Hopefully, so will be about other false Indian claims ie surgical strike 2016, denial of shooting down of 2 IAF jets by PAF and claim about F16. Better late than never.”

Addressing the BJP’s women party workers in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India’s External Affairs Minister and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj admitted that no Pakistani soldier or citizen had died in the airstrike carried out by IAF in Balakot, on Feb 26.

She said, “When we carried out air strike across the border after the Pulwama terror attack, we had told the international community that we took that step in self-defense only and the armed forces were instructed not to harm any Pakistani citizen or its soldier during the strike.” “And, our army did the same without harming any Pakistani citizen or soldier,” she acknowledged.

Read more: Balakot airstrike: India’s failure at legal front?

India had claimed killing 350 militants in Balakot 

Earlier, Indian media and politicians, quoting sources in the government, had repeatedly claimed killing 350 militants in Balakot. While Indian ministry of external affairs, and Indian Air Force chief did not give any specific numbers but stories were deliberately leaked that claimed that Jaish militants were preparing to attack targets inside India and Indian Air-force in a surgical strike destroyed the launching pads killing 350 militants.

However Pakistani government had immediately offered international media to visit the site and check facts on ground. Reporters of BBC, Al Jazeera and other international news organizations couldn’t find any evidence to substantiate Indian claims and later story after story appearing in international media kept raising doubts about the Indian claims.

Satellite images from “Planet Labs” in the United States, further weakened Indian claims

In the first week of March, international news agency, Reuters, quoted “Planet Labs Inc, a San Francisco based company in the United States that compared its satellite images of Balakot, from April 2018 with images of March 4, 2019 to conclude that there were no discernible changes in and around the seminary to suggest an air strike. This research was published by all Indian media further wearing the earlier Indian claims.

Gen. Asif Ghafoor, DG ISPR, had himself accompanied national and international media to the strike site where only a couple of trees become the causality of the IAF strike. Later, international journalists, including those based in India, were also taken to the religious seminary, which India had claimed to be a “terrorists’ training camp” to let them understand the misleading nature of Indian claims.