Indian Minister Contradicts Its Army Chief Claiming Balakot 'Terror Camps' Reactivated in Pakistan
16:31 27.11.2019(updated 19:29 27.11.2019)
New Delhi (Sputnik): On 27 February, the purported terror camp in the Balakot area of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province was bombed by Indian Air Force fighter jets in a predawn aerial strike.
Two months after Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat claimed that the allegedly dismantled terror camp in Balakot had been reactivated, the Indian home ministry asserted that once again "attempts are being made to restart" the terror camp.
The ministry added that the government is committed to protecting the integrity and sovereignty of the country.
"Inputs indicate that attempts are being made by Pakistan-based terror outfits to reactivate its camp at Balakot and restart their religious and Jihadi indoctrination courses against India," G. Kishan Reddy, India's Minister of State for Home Affairs said in parliament on Wednesday.
In September, Army chief General Rawat said the alleged terror camp in Balakot had been reactivated by Pakistan "very recently".
The claim was immediately brushed aside by the Pakistan foreign ministry, terming it as "baseless". The ministry accused India of making a "desperate attempt to divert international attention from the humanitarian nightmare" in Indian administered Kashmir.
The 27 February Indian "surgical strike" was carried out in retaliation for a suicide attack claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists on a convoy of Indian troops in Pulwama District of Kashmir that killed 40 security personnel on 14 February.
Relations between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours have nosedived since then, and reached a flashpoint when India stripped the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state of its special quasi-autonomous status.
Islamabad rejected the Indian move, calling it a direct violation of the 1972 Simla Agreement.
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