NEW DELHI: The Opposition supported the airstrikes carried out against Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Balakot, Pakistan but reserved its praise for the IAF.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BSP chief Mayawati, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Muft, among others, tweeted lauding the air force for the strike. “I salute the pilots of the IAF,” Rahul tweeted. He repeated the phrase later at a rally in Assam but did not comment further.
Omar could not hide his excitement over the airstrikes in his tweet: “That’s a strike deep inside Pakistan and is hugely embarrassing for them. Regardless of what the other side may claim was or wasn’t hit, the planes crossed over, dropped their payload and flew back completely unscathed.
“We have entered a whole new paradigm with the Balakot air strike. The post-Uri strike was to avenge our losses; Balakot was a pre-emptive strike to prevent an imminent JeM attack. Totally new ballgame,” the NC leader said. Lauding the IAF, Mamata said it also stood for ‘India’s Amazing Fighters’. Mayawati and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti took critical stands.
Mayawati congratulated the IAF but attacked the Modi government saying terror attacks like Pulwama, Uri and Pathankot could have been prevented had the Centre given a freehand to the forces earlier.