Terrorists attacks like Pulwama are a grim reminder for the need of all countries to show ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday, a day after India conducted pre-emptive air strikes deep inside Pakistan hitting Jaish-e-Mohammad training camps.
The operation was carried out in light of Pakistan’s refusal to acknowledge and act against terror groups operating from its soil and credible information that JeM was planning attacks in India, she said.
Swaraj said that India does not wish to see a further escalation of the situation and will continue to act with responsibility and restraint.
She was addressing the 16th Foreign Ministers meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) here. The conclave is being attended Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Noting that JeM carried out the February 14 Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed and several others injured, Swaraj said, “Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder for the need of all the countries to show zero tolerance to terrorism and take decisive action against it.”
“In the light of continuing refusal by Pakistan to acknowledge and act against terror groups based on its territory, and based on credible information that JeM is planning other attacks in various parts of India, the government of India decided to take pre-emptive action”, she added.
The EAM said, “Following the Pulwama terrorist attack instead of taking seriously the calls by the international community to act against JeM and other terror groups based in Pakistan, Pakistan denied any knowledge of the attack and out-rightly dismissed claims by JeM.”
In a pre-dawn strike on Tuesday, Indian Air Force (IAF) jets had targeted the “biggest training camp” of JeM in Balakot in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.
Swaraj said the target was selected to avoid civilian casualties and the operation was non-military.
“It wasn’t a military operation, no military installation was targeted. The limited objective of the pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against terror infrastructure of JeM in order to pre-empt another terror attack in India,” she said.