‘Can’t allow terror groups any longer’: Australia’s sharp message to Pak
Australia joined the European Union and China to call for restraint from India and Pakistan after Indian warplanes bombed a terrorist camp deep across the Line of Control but also asked Pakistan to enforce the ban on terror groups such as the Jaish and Lashkare-Toiba.
In a statement hours after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale announced the strike on a terror camp, Australia asked Pakistan to take “urgent and meaningful action against terrorist groups in its territory” including the Jaish-e-Mohammed which claimed responsibility for the attack on a CRPF convoy and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“Pakistan must do everything possible to implement its own proscription of Jaish-e-Mohammed. It can no longer allow extremist groups the legal and physical space to operate from its territory,” Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said in a statement.
Australia also urged both sides to exercise restraint, avoid any action which would endanger peace and security in the region and engage in dialogue to ensure that these issues are resolved peacefully.
“These steps would make a substantial contribution to easing tensions and resolving the underlying causes of conflict,” the minister said.
Indian Air Force jets had targeted a terror camp where Pakistan-backed Jaish terrorists were preparing suicide attacks on its cities, India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said earlier in the day. He said a “very very large number” of terrorists from the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group were killed in the strike.
Indian sources have told HT that the bombing was estimated to have eliminated 200-300 terror operatives.
Pakistani officials have confirmed Indian planes breached its airspace and dropped a payload over Balakot in the country’s northwest. But they have claimed that there was no damage or casualties.