News Frontliner Web Desk, 06 March 2019: The strategic air strikes conducted by the Indian Air Force across the LoC on 26 February on Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan, has widely been talked, not only in India but across the globe.
Here is a synopsis of what the International media has to say about the IAF’s air strike deep inside Pakistan territory.
The New York Times covered the air strike through a number of separate articles. In one such article, it quoted Western security officials and analysts in Delhi to raise doubts about the efficacy and targets of the IAF’s air strike.
Western security officials have been sceptical about the existence of any large-scale training camp, saying that they no longer runs such camps and that militant groups are spread out in small groups around the country. Analysts and diplomats in New Delhi said the targets of the Indian airstrikes were unclear, as any terrorist groups which might have been operating along the border would have themselves abondoned the place after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed retaliation over the Kashmir attack.
The New York Times further termed India’s strike on terror camps in Balakot “a calculated bet” to tone down public anger following the Pulwama attack and at the same time minimising the risk of retaliation. The New York based newspaper with a worldwide influence also viewed the matter in the light of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections saying the “the BJP government have responded to voters’ demand that New Delhi must respond to the Kashmir attack with force against Pakistan.”
British daily, “The Guardian” in its report quoted representatives from India and Pakistan as part of their reportage.
Stating that it has been unclear whether anything significant had been struck down by the IAF attack, the 1821 British daily also added that it was ‘unclear whether the operation had been carefully calibrated to ease popular anger over the 14 February suicide bombing in Pulwama’.
The Washington Post called it a “serious escalation in hostilities between the two nuclear-armed neighbours” and said that the strike is a reflection of India’s “deep frustration” with Pakistan for harbouring militants. The headline read: India strikes Pakistan in severe escalation of tension between nuclear rivals.
The report also noted that the US administration had remained more or less supportive of India’s right to self defence.
BBC News in its report, said, “The Indian air strikes inside Pakistani territory across the international border have taken tensions to a dangerous level.”
Reporting on Pakistan’s dismissive response to the strike, the historic news agency said, “Pakistani officials have been underplaying the severity of the incident by describing it as a strike “across the LoC”, not one across the international border.” The report also quoted, ‘No Evidence was Immediately Provided to Back up the Claims of Militant Casualties’.
International news organisation, Reuters reported that ‘there has been mounting impatience in India to avenge the 14 February Pulwama terror attack, which was the most deadly attack seen in Kashmir in last three decades, and as news of the raid broke, celebrations erupted across the country’.
The Reuter’s report also contains details of the alleged strike site in Pakistan and quoted local residents who reported fallen trees, craters and a damaged home. Pakistani villagers in the area where the Indian jets struck said they heard four loud bangs in the early hours but only one person was reportedly wounded. “We saw fallen trees and one damaged house, and four craters where the bombs had fallen,” said some Mohammad Ajmal (25), who visited the site.
London-based, The Telegraph in its report, said “Narendra Modi faces a general election this spring and has come under intense domestic pressure to respond to an attack carried out by the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad.”
China’s daily, Global Times cited a report from news agency Xinhua. The report cited Pakistan military’s statement that Indian warplanes “violated the Line of Control in Kashmir region and dropped ‘payload’ hastily”.