In one of the deadliest terror attacks on Indian security forces, 44 CRPF personnel were martyred on February 14, 2019. A Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist drove an explosive-laden SUV into a convoy of vehicles carrying CRPF troops on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. As the entire world, including China, condemned the terror attack, India summoned Pakistan’s top envoy and lodged a strong protest.
Prime Minister Modi asserted that the security forces have been given permission to choose the timing, place, and nature of their response to the terror attack. Nationwide protests erupted against the dastardly terror attack as Indians demanded that the terror group and its sponsors be taught a lesson.
On February 26, 2019, Indian Air Force jets bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Balakot, in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, during the early hours. A very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders, and jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen attacks were eliminated. The Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar.
A day later on February 27, the Indian Air Force foiled an attempt by the Pakistan Air Force to strike at military installations in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani flights were allowed usage of Indian airspace only after 140 days of the airstrikes, leading to a loss of US $100 Million for Pakistan.
Soon after the terror attack, India launched extensive diplomatic efforts to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist. On May 1, 2019, he was designated as a global terrorist after a proposal introduced by the US, the UK, and France was accepted at the UN Security Council. Later, on October 19, 18 terrorists and 16 Pakistani soldiers were killed when the Indian Army launched artillery strikes on terrorist camps in Neelum valley.