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Balakot reactivated by Pakistan: Army Chief Bipin Rawat

New Delhi: Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday said the Balakot terror launchpads of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which the Indian Air Force (IAF) eliminated in an airstrike on February 26, has been “reactivated” and about 500 infiltrators are waiting to enter India.

“Balakot has been reactivated by Pakistan very recently. That shows that Balakot had been affected. It had been damaged and destroyed. And that is why people have got away from there and now it has been reactivated,” General Rawat told the media at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai.

In the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack, India had struck the “biggest training camp” of JeM in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in February, in which “a very large number” of JeM terrorists and their trainers were “eliminated.”

The training camp is spread over six acres, with enough space to accommodate around 600 cadres. The last “passing out” of militant recruits at Balakot, according to intelligence officials, was attended on April 1, 2018, by Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar, brother of Jaish founder Maulana Masood Azhar.

Tensions between India and Pakistan heightened after India scrapped the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 in August. While Pakistan has asked India to revoke its decision, New Delhi has firmly declined any interference calling it an “internal matter.” Pakistan even tried to internationalize the issue but failed miserably.

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