IAF: Pakistan scrambles jets over 'India airspace violation'

Wednesday, 27 Feb, 2019

He was subsequently transported to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, on February 7, 2002 because of his knowledge of the Moaskar training camp in Balakot, Pakistan, and his affiliation with the Taliban as a foreign fighter, the US Defence Department memorandum says.

Several reporters, including an Associated Press journalist, trudged up the Kangaran Nallah hill to the site of Tuesday's bombing near the town of Balakot, close to the border with Pakistan's sector of Kashmir.

Following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security in New Delhi, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said that a large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders were eliminated in the largest JeM camp in Balakot.

It was the deepest cross-border attack launched by India since the last of its three wars with Pakistan in 1971, when the two nations fought over Bangladesh's independence.

The overnight raid was the latest escalation between the nuclear-armed rivals since a deadly suicide bombing in the disputed Kashmir region earlier this month killed more than 40 Indian soldiers.

Mr Modi has been under pressure to retaliate since the suicide vehicle bombing in Kashmir's Pulwama, which India alleges was orchestrated by Pakistan's intelligence agency, and tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours have escalated in recent days.

An Indian paramilitary solider fires tear gas shell towards Kashmiri protesters in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Feb. 26, 2019. The attack is believed to be the worst against India's military since a rise in insurgency in 1989.

It is then clarified that "India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan". I will not let the country bend.

A "non-military" missile strike?

Gokhale may have used the unusual characterization to stress the point that India had not, and did not wish to, target Pakistan's own national military assets.

"Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country".

The anti-India jihadist group behind the attack has ties with al Qaeda and has been on a United Nations terror list since 2001.

Military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted: "Indian Air Force violated Line of Control".

Pakistan Air Force jets were scrambled in response to the incursion, Ghafoor said.

Prime Minister Narendra ModI, while addressing a poll rally in Rajasthan, said, "Today I assure the countrymen, India is in safe hands".

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected India's claim, branding it "self serving, reckless and fictitious".

Pakistan, which denies harbouring the JeM, also dismissed India's claim, saying the Indian aircraft had dropped their bombs in a wooded area, causing no damage or casualties.