TDN World Desk: Claims and counter claims are being made about India’s airplane strike in Pakistan’s Balakot. In a very recent development, Reuters has claimed that a Sanfrancisco-based private satellite image clearly shows that the Madrasa building run by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in northeastern Pakistan appears to be still standing intact days after India claimed its warplanes had hit the Islamist group’s training camp on the site and killed a large number of militants. 

According to News Agency Thompson Reuters, ” the images produced by Planet Labs Inc, a San Francisco-based private satellite operator, show at least six buildings on the madrasa site on March 4, six days after the airstrike”. 

Planet Lab made images available regarding the scene of India’s intended target zone in Balkot. The images with a picture resolution of no less than 72 cm or 28 inches offer us a a clearer look at the structures the Indian government said it attacked. 

Mysteriously, the image is virtually unchanged, there is no difference from the 18 April 2018 photo. No damage, no holes in the roofs of the building, no rubble, nothing as such to discern the sign of aerial strike as it was claimed by Indian government. 

The report states that “images cast further doubt on statements made over the last eight days by the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the raids, early on Feb. 26, had hit all the intended targets at the madrasa site near Jaba village and the town of Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province”. 

Data Differs 

While Reuters puts doubt by unfurling strong data regarding the air-strike, the Indian politicians are even coming out with causality figures. Amit Shah, President of Bharatiya Janata Party claimed that in Balakot airstrike more than 250 terrorists were killed. Though Indian army did not reveal any figure. Rather, Marshal B S Dhnoa, the chief of Indian Armed Force refused to comment on likely casualties at the Jaish camp, saying it was for the government to provide details. “We hit our targets. We don’t count human casualties, we count what targets we have hit or not. IAF doesn’t calculate casualty numbers, the government does that…”, as TOI quotes him as saying. 

India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale also didn’t mention the number. He only maintained the strike killed “a very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders, and groups of jihadis who were being trained for Fidayeen action were eliminated.” 

Day after the  Balakot strike, several Indian media reports that IAF carries out airstrike in PoK and destroys the Janish Camps killing 350 terrorists. 

Reuters, the same News Agency, had earlier published another report on February 28, based on interview with some villagers, living in Jaba near Balakot. In its report the news agency quotes one man, namely Abdul Rashid who said, “No one died. Only some pine trees died, they were cut down. A crow also died”. 

Another villager Nooran Shah, who was the only confirmed victim in the air-strike by India on the soil of Pakistan said, “They say they wanted to hit some terrorists. What terrorists can you see here?” 

“We are here. Are we terrorists?”, he added. Pakistan government also maintained that no one killed in the air-strike carried out by India only some trees got damaged. The Pak authority also accused India on the ground of eco-terrorism for destroying its “forest reservation”.