Pakistan says Indian aircraft "released a payload" after crossing frontier, no casualties

Sunday, 03 Mar, 2019

The Indian Air Force early on Tuesday morning carried out a pre-emptive strike on the biggest Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Balakot, which is located in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa area.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that "better sense" should prevail, warning India not to challenge Pakistan.

"Facing a timely and immediate response from the Pakistan Air Force, Indian aircraft released payloads in haste while escaping", Ghafoor added, referring to weapons fitted in the aircraft.

Multiple Indian media channels have been using a particular video while reporting on the air strikes, making it look like actual footage from the strikes carried out by India.

In response, India launched what it called "surgical strikes" on Pakistani territory.

Analysts predicted a strike by New Delhi after at least 40 Indian paramilitary police died in a suicide bombing on their convoy in Pulwama earlier this month.

The Indian aircraft intruded from Muzafarabad sector, Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet at 6:36 am.

India said its warplanes struck a militant training camp inside Pakistan on Tuesday and killed "a very large number" of fighters, raising the risk of conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

"I vow that I will not let the country bow down", he said.

FM Qureshi further informed that Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned a special meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) - which supervises the operational command and control of nuclear warheads - on Wednesday (tomorrow). However, no casualties or damage was reported during the incident, DG ISPR added. JeM has claimed other attacks on India, including the 2016 Pathankot attack and the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.

Pakistani officials confirmed that Indian Air Force jets crossed into the country's territory, but in a series of tweets, military spokesman Maj.

India said its jets bombed a training camp for Jaish-e-Mohammed - the militant organisation claiming responsibility for the terror attack.

NSC said Khan will "engage with global leadership to expose irresponsible Indian policy".

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif urged India to refrain from plunging the region into war.

Kashmir has been a flashpoint in India-Pakistan relations since partition.

In a village 100 metres from the Line of Control (LoC) that acts as the de facto border with Pakistan, men gathered around a bunker for security forces that is under construction and shouted slogans hailing India.

India said 300 militants were killed but Pakistan said there were no casualties.

"We encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost", Pompeo said in a statement after speaking with his counterparts from both countries. The militant groups are fighting for either Kashmir's independence or its merger with Pakistan.