India's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale has said that the main target of the air strikes in Balakot region of Pakistan was Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp run by Yusuf Azhar, who was the brother-in-law of JeM chief Masood Azhar.
Yusuf Azhar, who was born in Karachi was also called Ustad Ghauri and Muhammad Salim, according to the Narendra Modi government.
#WATCH Foreign Secy says,"This facility in Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar...The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualty. It's located in deep forest on a hilltop" pic.twitter.com/QENnnkU5Rh
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Yusuf Azhar was not only running the JeM training camps but was also a mastermind of many suicide attacks in Pakistan. He had also figured on the wanted terrorist list of India for being one of the conspirators of the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight IC814 flying from Kathmandu to New Delhi in 1999.
The hijacking eventually led to the release of JeM chief Masood Azhar, who is also married to Yusuf's sister. Indian intelligence sources said that there was credible input on JeM planning another Pulwama-type attack in Jammu and Kashmir and Yusuf was training locals.
The JeM chief was also a frequent visitor to the Bakakot camp run by Yusuf Azhar, the CNN News18 reported.
JeM's Yusuf Azhar alias Mohammad Salim alias Ustaad Gohri who was targeted today by IAF #airstrike in Balakot across LOC was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted in India. pic.twitter.com/1eTj8FhFMJ — ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019