Published: Wed, February 27, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Pakistan claims Indian jets launched attack across Kashmir border

Pakistan claims Indian jets launched attack across Kashmir border

An Indian foreign ministry official claimed the strike in the town of Balakot killed "a very large number" of fighters of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants India alleged were preparing more suicide attacks on India.

"Credible intelligence was received that JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this goal". Significantly, it is the Pakistani province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, outside the territory that Indian claims as its own.

He emphasised that the outfit was responsible for the attack against the CRPF personnel in Pulwama and urged Pakistan to live up to its public commitment against terrorism and take further actions against JeM and other camps. "The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jidhadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities", he said.

The jets crossed the Line of Control near Muzafarabad in the Pakistani-administered part of the disputed region, according to Pakistan's military.

The airspace violation by Indian jets capped 12 days of bitter exchanges between the two nuclear-armed hostile neighbours, triggering worldwide alarm, with China and the European Union calling for both sides to show restraint. "I hope the government will now go after Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed", Owaisi said.

"Acting on intelligence, India early today struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot", he said.

The militant groups are fighting for either Kashmir's independence or its merger with Pakistan.

The final decision to carry out an air strike on a Pakistan-based terror camp was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Doval and IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, present.

Pakistan said there had been no casualties at all. Pakistan-based and supported terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Tensions escalated sharply on the Asian subcontinent Tuesday with nuclear-armed neighbors Pakistan and India trading accusations and warnings after a pre-dawn airstrike by India that New Delhi said targeted a terrorist training camp. The terror attack left more than 40 soldiers dead and spiked the animosity between two nations which have fought over territorial rights to the Himalayan region of Kashmir for decades.

Islamabad called India's air raids as "reckless and fictitious" and said it would respond in due course "at a time and place of its choosing". "The Indians didn't want to target Pakistan Army positions because that would have resulted in military casualties - something that did not serve their goal".

"I think this is going to boost the electoral prospects of the BJP because people are generally in a celebration mood, that the government has been able to teach a lesson to Pakistan", said Mr Sanjay Kumar, director of the CSDS think tank and a leading pollster.

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