General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-Chief) Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, on Monday, said that the airstrikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on a major camp of the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot, Pakistan, was a big achievement for the country’s security forces.

“Airstrikes by IAF on Balakot terrorist infrastructure was a major achievement, wherein our aircraft went deep into enemy territory and struck terror launchpads. Pakistanis carried out air operations the following day, however, they were given a befitting reply,” said GOC-in-Chief Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh.

“I don’t want to go into what political parties say, they’ll be given an answer by the government. What I told you is a statement of fact,” said Lt Gen Ranbir Singh when asked about the reply of Army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) to an RTI query whether the Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes before September 29, 2016.

Lt Gen Ranbir Singh further shared the number of terrorists deactivated, apprehended, and brought back to the mainstream in 2019.

“During this year, we have been able to neutralize 86 terrorists so far and our operations continue in the same manner. Nearly 20 of them have been apprehended. We’ve also been able to bring back many of them to the mainstream,” said Lt Gen Ranbir Singh.

A few days ago, the Directorate General of Military Operations (DGMO), in a reply to an RTI, had said that the Indian Army has no data to suggest that surgical strikes were conducted by its troops across the Line of Control (LoC) before September 29, 2016, the day when such strikes were carried out in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).