International

Pakistan claims foreign journalists, diplomats taken to Balakot

More than a month after India’s air strike on a terror camp in Balakot, Pakistan, in the early hours of February 26, Pakistan has escorted a group of foreign journalists and diplomats to the site to show that no infrastructure was damaged, its military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor has claimed.

The visiting group, which Major General Ghafoor said was mostly based in New Delhi, was ”shown” a ”crater in Balakot” in a video published via Twitter late on April 10.

The group saw the “ground realities”, Maj. Gen. Ghafoor said in a caption accompanying the tweet.

Pakistan had denied that there was any damage or casualties and its Prime Minister Imran Khan termed it an election ploy.

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab said that open-source satellite imagery indicated “only impacts in the wooded area, with no damage being visible to the surrounding structures”.

The strike was in retaliation to a suicide bombing in Pulwama on February 14 that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel. The attack was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terror outfit.

The air strike was followed by a Pakistani air attack the next day. In the dogfight during this attack, a fighter aircraft of India went down and its ejected pilot fell on the other side of the Line of Control. He was caught but released by Pakistan very soon.

India has claimed that a Pakistani F-16 shot down by its Air Force.

Source: thehindu.com

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