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India is in safe hands, PM Narendra Modi thunders after IAF airstrike on Pakistan

India Today logo India Today 26-02-2019 India Today Web Desk
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(Video by Times of India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeting with thundering acclaim as he declared the nation was "in safe hands" at a rally in Rajasthan, soon after India announced on Tuesday it had conducted a pre-emptive strike on the terrorist group Jaish--e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan.

"Main desh hain rukne doonga, main desh nahin jhukne doonga," he said in his first address after the announcement, which was made by the external affairs ministry -- "I won't let the country stop, I won't let the country bow down."

Sources said twelve Mirage 2000 jets from the Indian Air Force carried out a pre-dawn strike after taking off from Gwalior and crossing the Line of Control.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan reserved the right to respond.

India had vowed revenge after a suicide bombing masterminded by JeM, which is based in Pakistan, killed 40 CRPF jawans in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

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On Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale told reporters a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, and senior commanders were eliminated in India's non-military, intelligence-led strike on JeM's biggest training camp in Balakot, located in Pakistan.

"Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary," he said.

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