Post Pulwama, how India avenged the Kandahar hijack as well

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Feb 14: It has been a year since the Pulwama attack. India had vowed revenge for the death of 40 CRPF jawans. In no time, the Balakot strike was planned and the Jaish-e-Mohammad facility was hit.

What is interesting about the Balakot strike was that India not avenged Pulwama, but the Kandahar or IC-814 hijack case as well.

Hitting the Balakot training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad was no easy task. It is a highly guarded facility and one of the biggest training camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammad which is responsible for a number of strikes on Indian soil that include the one at Parliament, Uri, Pulwama.

When the Research and Analysis Wing picked Balakot as the target, it was reported that the facility was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghouri. This terrorist has been a menace for India and he was one of the hijackers of IC-814, which was carried out to secure the release of his brother in law, Maulana Masood Azhar.

Following the release of Azhar, the Jaish-e-Mohammad was launched and its first major strike was on the Indian Parliament. Over the years, the JeM grew stronger and Yusuf Azhar was put in charge with building the facility at Balakot.

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He went on to set up the training camp in an area that spread over 7 acres. This training camp has produced 1000s of terrorists all with an intention of striking in India. The terrorists for the Uri and Pulwama attack were trained at this facility and the entire process was overseen by Yusuf Azhar.

Yusuf who was reportedly killed in the air strike that was carried out on February 26 has been on the watchlist since 2002. The Interpol had issued a red corner notice against him in 2002.

Indian officials say that the air strike which was carried out has dealt a decisive blow to the JeM. In this strike, India has not only avenged Pulwama but Kandahar as well, the official added.

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