'If US SEALs can take out Osama in Abbottabad, why can't we do the same?': Arun Jaitley on India-Pakistan air strikes

Arun Jaitley's statement comes in the aftermath of the Indian Air Force strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed installations across the border. Pakistani troops Wednesday intensely shelled Indian posts in Uri Sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

FP Staff February 27, 2019 14:45:04 IST
'If US SEALs can take out Osama in Abbottabad, why can't we do the same?': Arun Jaitley on India-Pakistan air strikes
  • Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said that if the US Navy SEALs can take out Osama bin Laden, then anything is possible.

  • Jaitley said this on sidelines of a Namami Gange function in New Delhi

  • The finance minister's statement comes in the aftermath of the Indian Air Force strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed installations across the border

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that if the US Navy SEALs could take out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan's Abbottabad, then anything could be possible. He made the statement in reference to the India-Pakistan air strikes and escalating tensions between the neighbours.

Jaitley made the comments on the sidelines of a Namami Gange function in New Delhi.

"I remember when the US Navy SEALs had cornered Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad... So why can't we do it?" the minister asked, adding that "anything is possible today".

"This used to be just imagination, a desire, a frustration, a disappointment. But today this is possible," he said.

The finance minister's statement comes in the aftermath of Indian Air Force strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed installations in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. In retaliation, Pakistani troops on Wednesday intensely shelled Indian posts in the Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan jets also reportedly violated Indian airspace in Rajouri sector and dropped bombs on their way back to their territory. The country claimed that its air force had shot down two Indian aircraft captured two Indian pilots.

"This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has, therefore, taken strikes at non-military targets, avoiding human loss and collateral damage, the sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability of self-defence. We have no intention of escalation but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm," Pakistan said in a statement, adding that Pakistan had issued a "clear warning" of the attack in broad daylight.

The statement also mentioned that the attack was a strike against what India had been trying to establish as a "new normal". "If India is striking at so-called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan," it said, urging India to give "peace a chance".

During the nighttime raid by US Navy SEALs on 2 May, 2011, a team in Blackhawk helicopters swooped in on Osama's hideout in Abbottabad in Pakistan. There were no casualties among US forces in the operation, in which Osama and four others at the compound that was raided.

The then US president Barack Obama had ordered the operation after the Central Intelligence Agency traced Osama's courier to the high-walled compound.

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