Karanji: (just back from the grassy slopes). Thx. All good. I just don't pay much attention to image analysis when those with reason to fudge have had the time. The absence of timely
drone imagery is the clincher that the "resort" is gone.
NLI example is a good point but blaming the "Kashmiri Mujaheddin" for the attacks on NH-1 was an afterthought: the plan was always for Mush to follow up the NH-1 closure with the 50,000 winter parkas stuffed with Pakis, waiting in Skardu/Gilgit to invade Srinagar. So then the NLI was to come swarming down to Kargil. The Bofors and Mirage 2000s and the heroes climbing cliffs in darkness at 18000 feet ended all that.
Here the Pakis reacted VERY fast: IAF came at 3:48: essentially 4AM b4 they dared look up. The news of Balakot hit us (BRF) b4 9AM IST -actually around 7AM IST we were discussing "something going on" with CAP over Abbotabad etc. So by daybreak papparazzi were rushing there - and reported 10 ambulances.Plus The Kid as the first source. No one was allowed to go up there, which is very unlike Paki reaction to say, Marriott bombing (Peshawar?) etc. where anyone could walk in, and photos came out fast. Same with the usual inflations and bulb bursts in Karachi: chaotic response. Not here: area was sealed off.
Reuters went there - and were escorted to the Four Craters In The Forest. (note: there must be SOME basis for that - hope IAF reveals at some point what actually was dropped there). The drone question is the killer to me: anyone today would know to do that first.
Pakis were utterly tight-lipped about casualties, despite those reported 10 ambulances. Why? They could have said: 20 children and 100 goats were injured by cruel Indians, hain? They do that every day at LOC ("Indian shelling kills 3 civilians all in burkhas and wearing PA boots") So why the complete "nothing beyond The Four Craters" claim? Masood's bro could have got a lot of mileage
about Modi's yindoo extremists targeting peaceful Islamic Meditation Site. NOTHING.
So given all that, they would have done everything possible to cover up the extent of damage, from the air. GOI said early on (first report, actually by Babus hu remained anonymous) that "when the images come, all you will see is rubble"
or something like that. I believe that.
Everything else you see now is 399% likely to be bogus. White stage-set made to look like what stood there.
Four holes (but no soot or signs of explosion smoke blasting out) on the "con-crete" roof. The idea is to convey that casualties were maybe 10. Or 20.
The estimate based on RAA intel and Pest Mass Conservation is between 350 and 700 pests assembled inside that night. I don't think that 100% death is likely, but I would say 80% dead, rest in hospital and dying. Masood's bro, the Big Chief, seems to have been inflated too, so they pulled the switch, declaring Masood dead instead, and faking a Radio Broadcast (not TV) of the Bro exhorting his flock to rush into India wearing soosai vests.
Just as the "Wing Cdr Abhinandan" shown on Pak TV was fake, the "resort" buildings now seen are also fake.
The Kargil/NLI analogy is relevant. Pakis have realized that the Four Craters In Forest theory is not going to hold: like Kargil, there will be enquiries after whereabouts of the 700, and relatives are not going to be silent forever. Hence the convenient Four Holes In Roof, so that anyone whose relatives ask, can be declared dead (Direct hit, what 2 do, hain hain!).