Former Pakistan diplomat Agha Hilaly during a television discussion admitted that around 300 causalities were reported at the Balakot airstrike by the Indian Air Force. The admission by the former Pakistani diplomat, who regularly takes the Pakistan Army side in TV debates, goes against the zero casualties claim made by Islamabad at that time. Soon after Indian Air Force had carried out a strike at a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror training camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, as a face-saving measure, had refused to acknowledge the presence of terrorists who were killed during the airstrike.
"India crossed the international border and did an act of war in which at least 300 were reported dead. Our target was different from theirs. We targeted their high command. That was our legitimate target because they are men of the military. We subconsciously accepted that a surgical strike -- a limited action -- did not result in any casualty. Now we have subconsciously told them that, whatever they will do, we'll do only that much and won't escalate," said Agha Hilaly.
This revelation by the former Pakistan diplomat comes months after the remarks of Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Ayaz Sadiq, who in October 2020, said in the country's National Assembly that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in an important meeting had pointed out that if Pakistan did not release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, India would attack Pakistan "that night by 9 pm". He had revealed why Imran Khan's government decided to release Abhinandan Varthaman, saying Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa's "legs were shaking" while Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the meeting of parliamentary leaders that India was about to attack their country.
Agha Hilary’s video has put the Congress party on a tight spot, as the party was consistent on its criticism of Modi government, demanding more evidence for the Balakot airstrikes. Congress’ Sam Pitroda in an interview to the ANI had said, “We need to know the facts. If you say 300 people were killed, I need to know that. We all need to know that, people of India need to know that and then comes global media which says nobody was killed. I look bad as an Indian citizen,” Congress leader Navroj Singh Sidhu had tweeted, “300 terrorist dead, Yes or No? What was the purpose then? Were you uprooting terrorist or trees? Was it an election gimmick? Deceit possesses our land in guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Stop politicising the army; it is as sacred as the state. Oonchi Dukaan, Pheeka Pakwan (Tall claims, no action)”.