New Delhi: Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) has a dark significance for India. From Bait-ul-Mujahideen terror camps on the outskirts of this small town, Kasab and other 26/11 terrorists had started their terrible journey in 2008.

Balakot, a town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), has long functioned as a fortress of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which carried out the suicide attack at Pulwama which killed 44 Indian security personnel.

But Pakistan’s karma seemed to have caught up with it.

Indian Mirage 2000 fighter planes crossed LoC in the wee hours of Tuesday and bombed Muzaffarabad in PoK and Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Although Pakistan authorities have denied any damage or casualty, there are unconfirmed reports of 300 deaths in the terror camps because of the airstrikes.

Balakot is sleepy town sitting deceptively pretty on the banks of Kunhar river flowing through Kaghan Valley.

Down the years, the Pakistan establishment has funded Jaish. After the fall of Taliban in Afghanistan, it helped Jaish relocate from there and set up camps in Balakot and Peshawar in KP and Muzaffarabad in PoK, train local youth and also use it as a terror university for youngsters wooed from the Indian side of Kashmir.

Tuesday’s airstrike has taken even Pakistanis by surprise. This was no surgical strike. They have started questioning their government as to how India got the audacity to fly jets deep into their territory and bomb Jaish camps there.

Past reports have said the Jaish training camps in Balakot put recruits through an even more grueling training than Pakistan Army or fellow terror organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba. The biggest terrorist training centre in Balakot is the Syed Ahmed Shaheed, run by Maulana Masood Azhar-led Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Students are given terror training in 30, 90, half year and nine-month modules. They are taught hand-to-hand combat, operating rocket launchers and handling heavy artillery.

A Jaish official in Balakot was once quoted proudly saying, “We transform our activists into walking dynamite sticks.”