In the first public speech after the IAF air strike dubbed as surgical strike 2.0 – India’s retaliation of the Pulwama attack, PM Narendra Modi said that the “country is in safe hands”.
Instead of being naïve, New Delhi acted with tact and boldness with the surprise IAF air strikes conducted on Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps at Balakot on the LoC, in the early hours of February 26. The dropping of 1000 kg explosives on core militant training camps is seen as an Indian avenge for the death of 40 CRPF personnel in the Pulwama terror attack – a rather bold retaliation. And by announcing it to be a “non-military pre-emptive strike” based on intelligence, picking the JeM terror camps as target and leaving out the Pakistani military brass – India left out an option for Pak to claim no military action while justifying its unannounced air strikes.
India claims that as many as 350 militants were killed in the air strike, and such a proportionate, punitive and entirely defensible puts India in a justified place on international fronts. Speaking of India’s comeback during a public rally in Rajasthan, PM Modi said that “the country is in safe hands and that he will not let the country down, for there is nothing above the nation”. Vowing, he also said that “Today is a day to pay homage to India’s bravehearts, and I will not let the country bow down.”
The Balakot air strikes has also brought together the political fraternity of the country, which is otherwise usually up against each other – and all political parties and leaders have well received the retaliation that India has chosen to make in response to Pak-based terror outfit JeM killing 44 of its security men using a suicide bomber at Pulawama leaves the onus for escalation.