India on Saturday said its non-military strike on JeM camp in Pakistan achieved its desired objective and demonstrated the country's firm resolve to take decisive action against cross border terrorism.
"Our non-military counter-terrorism strike achieved the desired objective. It has demonstrated our firm resolve to take decisive action against cross border terrorism," said Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, at a media briefing.
The MEA, however, hasn’t shared the number of casualties in IAF’s cross-border air strike, amid demands by kin of martyred CRPF troopers that they wanted to see the proof of IAF’s retaliatory strikes in Balakot. Notably, it was foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale who was the first government official in the wake of India’s air raids in Balakot to state that a number of terrorists had been killed in action against the supposed JeM camp.
Since the IAF strikes, various members of the opposition parties have demanded clinching evidence about the number of casualties, even as the government has so far refused to share anything. On the other hand, BJP leaders, including Amit Shah, have been accused of politicising the counter-terror action in stating that 250 terrorists were killed in IAF’s strikes.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar further said that an Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison, piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft and there were eyewitness accounts and electronic evidence for it.
"We have also shared evidence in the form of parts of AMRAAM missile which were recovered from the site and are only carried by F-16 aircraft of the PAF," he said.
Only one aircraft was lost by India during Pakistan's unsuccessful attempt at targeting Indian military installations, he said.
Kumar also said if, as Pakistan claims, it has evidence of downing of second Indian aircraft then why has it not shared it.
Since the Pulwama terror attack the international community has stood by India, Kumar said.
It is unfortunate that Pakistan still continues to deny JeM's own claim of carrying out the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, he said.
Kumar asserted that Pakistan-based terror groups were conducting their activities without any hindrance.
Pakistan must show credible, verifiable and sustained action against terror groups operating from its soil, he said.
On the issue of the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi's extradition, the MEA spokesperson said the UK is still considering India's request.
India is taking all steps necessary for his extradition, he asserted.