Pakistan gives access to foreign journalists mostly India based to Madressah near site of ‘Balakot strike’

Srinagar: A group of international journalists, mostly based in India, as well as the ambassadors and defence attachés of various countries on Wednesday visited the impact site of the Feb 26 Indian airspace violation near Jabba, Balakot, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani military, announced late last evening.

Director General (DG) ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor briefed the delegation on the events of the day of the attack, “negating repeated false Indian claims with ground realities”, Dawn reported.

“Visitors were shown bomb craters of the Indian air strike attempts in barren open spaces with no loss of human life or infrastructure,” the ISPR said. “The group also visited a nearby madrassa that India claimed it had struck and killed scores of terrorists at.”

The visitors, according to the ISPR, were allowed to interact freely with students and teachers and saw for themselves that the madressah, where “innocent local children were getting education, stood on ground and was untouched”.

The DG ISPR reiterated that “India should accept the reality, stay a responsible state for peace in the region and look inwards to identify reasons for the out-of-hand situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.”

“The international delegation also visited APS Swat — a state-of-the-art educational facility established by Pakistan Army as a gift for the resilient people of Swat in recognition of their contributions and sacrifices in defeating terrorism as terrorists had specially targeted educational institutions during the unrest,” the ISPR press release stated.

The group were also given a tour of Sabawoon, the army-run rehabilitation and deradicalisation centre, where “juvenile offenders are given psychological treatment” and nurtured back to normal life so they can become useful citizens of the society.

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