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HIGHLIGHTS | Security beefed up at Paradip, Kolkata ports following Indo-Pak tension

IAF strike on Jaish camp in Pakistan HIGHLIGHTS: The air space violation by Pakistani jets comes a day after Indian Air Force jets flew across the Line of Control to blow up Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest terror camp.

By HT Correspondent | Feb 28, 2019 03:56 IST
highlights

Pakistani aircraft violated Indian air space in the Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Wednesday morning. The Indian Air Force scrambled jets and pushed them back. News agency ANI has reported that a Pakistan Air Force F-16 was shot down in Indian retaliatory fire in Nowshera’s Lam valley.

The Pakistani jets had entered into Indian air space over Rajouri district this morning, sources said.

The air space violation by Pakistani jets comes a day after Indian Air Force jets flew across the Line of Control to blow up Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest terror camp.

Watch| India lost one MiG 21, pilot who engaged Pak jets ‘missing in action’: Govt

 

Here are the highlights:

11:21 pm IST

Security beefed up in Paradip, Kolkata ports following Indo- Pak tension

Security was stepped up at the two major ports of the Eastern region - Paradip in Odisha and Kolkata - on Wednesday following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan, officials said, reports PTI.

Frisking and patrolling of security personnel have started in the two ports.

The authorities are extra vigilant keeping in mind that Pakistan based terrorists had entered Mumbai via sea route in 2008 and unleashed terror attacks now known as 26/11.

10:21 pm IST

Let the country speak in one voice. Please introspect : Arun Jaitley

FM Arun Jaitley: My appeal to India’s opposition - “Let the country speak in one voice”. Please introspect - “Your ill advised statement is being used by Pakistan to bolster its case”.

10:20 pm IST

Balakot Operation was India’s anti- terror pre-emptive strike to defend its sovereignty: Arun Jaitley

FM Arun Jaitley: Cross border terror attack in Pulwama was a reality. Balakot Operation was India’s anti- terror pre-emptive strike to defend its sovereignty.Whole nation has spoken in one voice. Why, then is India’s opposition alleging that government is politicising our anti-terror Ops?

9:47 pm IST

Opposition joint statement good news for Pakistan: Javadekar

The ruling BJP on Wednesday rejected the joint statement of 21 opposition parties that it was politicising the sacrifices of armed forces, saying such remarks are being used by the Pakistani media to show that Indian parties are not united in the fight against terror.

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Union minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said the allegation levelled by the opposition is “baseless”.

He said the joint statement of the opposition parties was being used by the Pakistani media to project that the Indian polity was not united in its fight against terror.

“Who is happy (with the joint statement)? Pakistan, its army and its media,” Javadekar said.

9:45 pm IST

Samba: All govt. and private schools within a range of 0 to 5 Kms from International Border to remain closed tomorrow

Samba: All government and private schools within a range of 0 to 5 Kms from International Border to remain closed tomorrow, reports news agency ANI.

9:44 pm IST

BJP not politicising security situation: Prakash Javadekar

BJP not politicising security situation; claim of opposition parties baseless, shows India not united: Party leader Prakash Javadekar

9:36 pm IST

Hope saner counsels will prevail between India and Pak: Manmohan Singh

I hope saner counsel will prevail between leadership of India, Pakistan: Ex-PM Manmohan Singh amid growing Indo-Pak tensions, reports PTI.

9:20 pm IST

Air Canada has temporarily suspended service to India

Air Canada: Due the closure of Pakistani airspace by its government, Air Canada has temporarily suspended service to India.

 

8:58 pm IST

Haven’t yet received any instructions from authorities about any change to current running of Samjhauta Express: Piyush Goyal

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal: We have not yet received any instructions from the authorities about any change to the current running of the Samjhauta Express, we will follow whatever directions are received in this regard, reports news agency ANI.

8:55 pm IST

Extra vigil in Gujarat districts sharing border with Pakistan

Amid escalation of tensions with Pakistan, security has been stepped up along Gujarat’s sea and land borders with the neighbouring country and restriction put on travel of people near them besides increasing vigil at vital installations, police officials said Wednesday, reports PTI.

The move comes in the backdrop of India’s aerial strike on terror camps in Pakistan Tuesday following the Pulwama carnage and retaliatory action by Islamabad Wednesday.

8:33 pm IST

Pakistan does not want war with India: Pak FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that his country does not want a war and asked India to come to the table to resolve all outstanding issues.

“Today’s strike demonstrates our right, will and Capability to defend ourselves. We do not want war. We hope India will come to the table to resolve all outstanding issues,” Qureshi said.

8:23 pm IST

India hands over dossier to Pak with details of JeM role in Pulwama attack

India Wednesday handed over to Pakistan a dossier on “specific details” of involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the Pulwama terror attack on CRPF as also the presence of camps of the UN-proscribed terror outfit in that country. The dossier was handed over to the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, who was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs to lodge a strong protest over Pakistan Air Force targeting Indian military installations, a day after the Indian counter-terror action against the JeM, reports PTI.

Government sources have claimed that over 350 JeM terrorists were killed in the pre-dawn strike on the terror camps in Pakistan on Tuesday.

8:17 pm IST

Meeting of three Service Chiefs with PM Narendra Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg ends

Delhi: Meeting of the three Service Chiefs with PM Narendra Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg ends, reports news agency ANI.

 

8:12 pm IST

Delhi Metro network on red alert from 6 pm: DMRC

Delhi Metro network on red alert from 6 pm: DMRC, reports PTI.

8:04 pm IST

Army personnel deployed at sensitive locations in Mumbai

Army personnel deployed at sensitive locations in Mumbai along with local police in view of increased tensions on the Indo-Pak border: Sources, reports PTI

7:48 pm IST

We are monitoring developments closely and considering implications for British nationals: UK PM Theresa May

UK PM Theresa May: We are working closely with international partners including through the UN Security Council to de-escalate tensions and are monitoring developments closely and considering implications for British nationals.

7:45 pm IST

UK is deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan: PM Theresa May

UK PM Theresa May: UK is deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan and urgently calls for restraint on both sides to avoid further escalation. We’re in regular contact with both countries, urging dialogue and diplomatic solutions to ensure regional stability, reports Reuters.

7:43 pm IST

Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy says nation stands in solidarity with armed forces

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy says nation stands in solidarity with armed forces

 

7:41 pm IST

PM Narendra Modi holds key review meet with top officials on Pak situation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a key meeting with security and intelligence officials after Pakistan Air Force jets violated the Indian airspace early Wednesday morning, sources said.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, senior officials of the Indian Navy, Army and the Air Force and other security officials were present at the meeting, sources said.

7:13 pm IST

CWC meet postponed amid India-Pakistan tensions

Amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has cancelled a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and the ‘Jan Sankalp rally’ which was to be held here on Thursday, reports PTI.

After almost six decades, a CWC meeting was scheduled to be held in Gujarat. All the bigwigs of the Grand Old Party were supposed to be present on Thursday including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, new General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

7:04 pm IST

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh met top officials of army, paramilitary and the police to review current situation in border areas

Jalandhar: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh met top officials of army, paramilitary and the police to review the current situation in border areas, reports news agency ANI.

7:01 pm IST

Ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Krishna Ghati and Mendhar sector of Poonch

Jammu and Kashmir: Ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Krishna Ghati and Mendhar sector of Poonch, reports news agency ANI.

6:59 pm IST

Pakistan trying to defame India after IAF air strikes: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday said the Indian Air Force (IAF) air strike on terror camps across LoC in Pakistan was carried out with caution and no civilian was hurt in it, but the neighbouring country wants to defame India nevertheless, reports PTI.

India has given a befitting reply to the neighbouring country, Singh said and reiterated that Kashmir will always be a part of India and no power in the world can separate it from the country.

Addressing a convention of BJP workers in Bilaspur town of Chhattisgarh, he said, “Two days back, our forces gave a befitting reply to Pakistan, which has been trying to destabilise India”.

6:56 pm IST

It was conveyed that India expects Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism: MEA

Regret was expressed at continuing denial by Pakistan’s political and military leadership at the presence of terrorist infrastructure in territories under its control. A dossier was handed over to Pakistan side with specific details of JeM complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan. It was conveyed that India expects Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from territories under its control: MEA

6:52 pm IST

India expects immediate and safe return of IAF pilot: MEA

India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return: MEA

6:51 pm IST

India reserves right to take firm and decisive action to protect its national security: MEA

It was clearly conveyed that India reserves the right to take firm and decisive action to protect its national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity against any act of aggression or cross-border terrorism: MEA

6:50 pm IST

Unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation to take action against terrorists, Pak has acted with aggression against India: MEA

This is in contrast to the India’s non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a JeM terrorist camp in Balakot on 26 February 2019. It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India: MEA

6:48 pm IST

Acting High Commissioner of Pak was summoned by MEA to lodge a strong protest at unprovoked act of aggression by Pak against India

Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned this afternoon by MEA to lodge a strong protest at unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India earlier today, including violation of the Indian air space by Pakistan Air Force and targeting of Indian military posts.

6:40 pm IST

Pakistan says has only one downed Indian pilot

Pakistan’s chief military spokesman said on Wednesday the Pakistani army currently had only one downed Indian pilot in custody, having previously said two pilots had been captured, one of whom was wounded.

“There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody,” Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet above a photograph apparently showing the captured pilot, who was shot down earlier in the day after responding to a Pakistani air strike in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

6:36 pm IST

Maharashtra session may be curtailed in view of threat perception

The ongoing budget session of Maharashtra Legislature may be curtailed due to threat perception amid rising Indo-Pak tensions, sources said Wednesday, reports PTI.

Opposition leaders who attended a meeting chaired Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here to discuss the security issues amid rising tensions between the nuclear-powered neighbours India and Pakistan said the session may be cut short.

The session, which began Monday, is scheduled to be a week-long affair.

6:32 pm IST

Pakistan Army retracts; says there is only one Indian pilot under its custody

Pakistan Army retracts; says there is only one Indian pilot under its custody, reports PTI.

6:24 pm IST

UK junior foreign office minister Mark Field says he will meet India and Pakistan envoys on Wednesday to urge restraint

UK junior foreign office minister Mark Field says he will meet India and Pakistan envoys on Wednesday to urge restraint.

6:18 pm IST

Himachal on high alert as Indo-Pak tensions escalate

Himachal Pradesh Chief Secretary B.K. Agarwal here on Wednesday reviewed the security in the wake of heightened tension between India and Pakistan and said the state had been put on high alert.

Police had been asked to monitor spreading of any rumour by anti-social elements, he said.

“Officials of various departments of the state and the central governments participated in the review meeting,” Agarwal said.

6:03 pm IST

Leaders urged government to take nation into confidence on all measures

The leaders expressed concern on the emerging security situation. Post the statement from the MEA regarding targeting of our military installations and loss of one fighter aircraft, the leaders condemned the Pakistani misadventure and expressed their deep concern for the safety of our missing pilot. Leaders urged the Government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India’s sovereignty, unity and integrity.

6:00 pm IST

Leaders observed that the PM has not convened an-all party meeting as per the established practice in democracy

The leaders observed that the Prime Minister has, regrettably, not convened an-all party meeting as per the established practice in our democracy.

5:55 pm IST

Leaders condemned Pakistani misadventure and expressed deep concern for safety of our missing pilot: Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi after opposition meeting: Leaders condemned Pakistani misadventure and expressed deep concern for safety of our missing pilot. Leaders urged government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India’s sovereignty, unity and integrity.

 

5:47 pm IST

The meeting lauded the action taken by the Indian Air Force

The meeting paid homage to the soldiers and expressed solidarity with the Armed Forces in crushing the menace of terrorism.

The meeting lauded the action taken by the Indian Air Force against the terrorist camp on 26th February 2019 and praised our Armed Forces for their valour and bravery

5:42 pm IST

Blatant politicization of sacrifices by forces’: 21 Opposition parties

The meeting of 21 parties expressed their deep anguish over the blatant politicization of the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces by leaders of the ruling party. National security must transcend narrow political considerations.

5:33 pm IST

Leaders of 21 political parties condemn Pulwama attack

After the opposition meeting concluded, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that the meeting of leaders of 21 political parties “condemned the dastardly Pulwama attack by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed on 14th February 2019 and lauded the action taken by our armed forces”, reports news agency ANI.

5:31 pm IST

We stand by our armed forces in these difficult times: Rahul Gandhi

I’m sorry to hear that one of our brave IAF pilots is missing. I hope he will return home soon, unharmed. We stand by our armed forces in these difficult times, says Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

5:30 pm IST

Russia calls on India and Pakistan for restraint

Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov: Russia calls on India and Pakistan for restraint in connection with the border incident.Russia is concerned about the aggravation of relations, reports news agency ANI.

5:28 pm IST

21 political parties issue joint statement on Pulwama attack

The meeting of leaders of 21 political parties condemned the dastardly Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed on 14th February 2019.

5:24 pm IST

Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah arrives at South Block

Delhi: Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah at South Block. He had been summoned by Ministry of External Affairs.

 

5:19 pm IST

Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah arrives at South Block after being summoned by Ministry of External Affairs

Delhi: Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah arrives at South Block after being summoned by Ministry of External Affairs.

 

5:15 pm IST

India, Pakistan must de-escalate tensions: Farooq Abdullah

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Wednesday called for de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan and asked both the countries to maintain “maximum restraint” for the “greater good of humanity”. “History bears testimony to the fact that war did not help both the neighbours resolve their long pending issues. It is in the interest of our region if both the countries shun war rhetoric,” Abdullah said in a statement issued by the party.

5:07 pm IST

Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah summoned by Ministry of External Affairs

Delhi: Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah summoned by Ministry of External Affairs, reports news agency ANI.

5:00 pm IST

Dubai Airports says no flights to and from Pakistan until further notice - statement

Dubai Airports said on Wednesday there would be no flights to and from Pakistan until further notice as a result of the closure of the country’s airspace, reports Reuters.

5:00 pm IST

Civil Aviation Ministry “strictly” following instructions of IAF: Jayant Sinha

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha Wednesday said his ministry was “strictly” following the “guidelines and instructions” of the Indian Air Force. Services at nine airports, including Srinagar, Jammu and Leh, in north India were temporarily suspended in view of hightened tensions between India and Pakistan.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) later in the day said the services at the nine airports have resumed “as of now”. “We are strictly following all guidelines of the Air Force, and we will continue to do that,” Sinha said on the sidelines of an event here.

Asked how many flights have been impacted, Sinha said, “I don’t have the number. But, as I said, we are following the instructions of the air force.” Earlier on Wednesday, the DGCA issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM), saying flight operations at the airports in Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Pathankot, Amritsar, Shimla, Kangra, Kullu Manali and Pithoragarh will remain shut from February 27 to May 27.

4:55 pm IST

Army’s Eastern Command chief visits Panagarh base in West Bengal amid escalating tensions

Amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, Army’s Eastern Command chief Lt General Manoj Naravane visited Panagarh base in West Bengal on Wednesday and reviewed operational preparedness, a defence official said.

Lt Gen Naravane, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, emphasised the need for remaining alert at all times to meet the emerging security challenges, the official said.

4:50 pm IST

“Whole country is proud of this brave son,” Arvind Kejriwal tweets for IAF pilot’s safe return

“I pray for the safety of Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan,” tweeted Arvind Kejriwal. “Whole country is proud of this brave son and everyone is hoping for his safe return. We all stand united to keep our country safe and strong,” Arvind Kejriwal said in the tweet.

 

4:35 pm IST

Pakistan has long denied its role in terror acts in India

In his last televised statement, Imran Khan appeared to ignore the claims made by Jaish. Pakistan has long denied its role in terror acts in India, which has handed it over several dossiers containing evidence of involvement of terror groups working from its soil.

4:33 pm IST

Imran Khan’s fresh call for dialogue comes in the wake of Pulwama terror attack

Imran Khan’s fresh call for dialogue comes in the wake of India’s effort to corner Pakistan among international community in the wake of Pulwama terror attack, in which at least 40 soldiers were killed. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.

4:26 pm IST

Imran Khan calls for talks to de-escalate rising tensions with India over Kashmir

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan calls for talks to de-escalate rising tensions with India over Kashmir.

3:57 pm IST

Better sense should prevail: Imran Khan after Pak strike

“We offered that we are ready for any kind of investigation after Pulwama attack in India. We didn’t take action on Tuesday morning because we weren’t aware of the damage caused by air strike by India. We did not want to cause much collateral damage in India when there was not much damage on our side. The only motive of Pakistan’s strike today was to demonstrate that we have the capability to hit back.

All the wars have happened due to miscalculation. With all the weapons that Pakistan and India have, can we afford to miscalculate. If we take to war neither I nor Mr Narendra Modi would be in a position to control its course. This is why I suggest that better sense should prevail,” said Imran Khan.

3:25 pm IST

IAF pilot who engaged Pak jets missing in action: Govt

IAF pilot who engaged Pakistan jets missing in action, said the government. India verifying Pak claims on his custody.

Pakistan used air force to target military installations, attempt foiled successfully, the government added.

3:20 pm IST

Foreign ministry and Air Vice Marshal brief media

Foreign ministry and Air Vice Marshal briefed the media.

3:00 pm IST

Maharashtra on high alert amid border tensions

Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai have been put on high alert’ in the wake of the rising tensions on the country’s north-west border, official sources said in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Heightened security was seen in Mumbai, the commercial capital of the country. Police vigil has been enhanced in Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nashik and Kolhapur as well. The government is ensuring there is no disturbance to the ongoing HSC (Class XII) examinations in the state, reported news agency IANS.

2:45 pm IST

Pakistan closes its airspace for commercial flights

Pakistan has closed its airspace for commercial flights, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on Wednesday amid escalating tensions with India.

The aviation authority made the announcement on Twitter after Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General of the Pakistan Army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), acknowledged the closure of Pakistan’s airspace due to the security situation, Dawn News reported.

2:35 pm IST

Air India avoiding route of Pakistan air space with immediate effect

Air India avoiding route of Pakistan air space with immediate effect. India use Pakistan airspace for flights to Gulf countries, Europe and USA, said an Air India official

1:25 pm IST

Pakistan says 2 IAF jets shot down, India rejects claim

There are no reports of any IAF jet suffering damage in action by India’s adversaries, defence sources said on Wednesday according to news agency PTI.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan claimed it shot down two Indian military aircraft over Pakistani air space and arrested at least one of the pilots, according to PTI.

1:20 pm IST

Army, BSF troops along IB, LoC on highest degree of alertness: Officials

The Army and BSF have been put on the highest degree of alertness along the border in Jammu after air space violations by the neighbouring country and the night-long heavy firing and shelling by Pakistani troops on forward and civilians areas across the LoC which stopped on Wednesday, reported news agency PTI.

Authorities have ordered temporary closure of educational institutions in a 5-km radius along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri and Poonch districts on Wednesday amid mounting tensions between the two countries, following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 and an Indian air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed camp inside Pakistan on Tuesday.

1:14 pm IST

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs DAC meeting

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman met here today and accorded approval for acquisition of defence equipment for about Rs 2700 crores.

Approval was granted for procurement of three Cadet Training ships for the Indian Navy, which would be utilised to provide basic sea training for officer cadets including women officer undertrainees. The ships would be capable of undertaking Hospital Ship duties, providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, undertaking Search and Rescue (SAR) missions and Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations.

1:08 am IST

China reiterates call for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint

China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said it reiterated its call for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the comment at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

1:00 pm IST

PM Modi rushes to review security situation: Report

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cut short his address at a function in Vigyan Bhawan on Wednesday and rushed to attend a meeting to review the security situation arising out of Pakistan’s attempt to violate Indian air space, reported news agency ANI.

Modi was replying to the questions from youngsters during the National Youth Festival 2019 when he was handed over a small piece of paper by an official of Prime Minister Office (PMO).

The Prime Minister immediately stopped and walked towards the panelist where Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore was also present.

12:53 pm IST

Pakistan stops domestic, international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad

Pakistan immediately stops its domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports, reported news agency ANI.

12:30 pm IST

Sensex turns negative; cracks over 200 points

The benchmark BSE Sensex gave up all early gains and fell over 200 points in afternoon trade Wednesday on widespread selling after Pakistani fighter jets violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir.

After dropping 238 points, the Sensex was trading 161.74 points, or 0.46 per cent, down at 35,811.97 after hitting a low of 35,735.33. The gauge rallied nearly 400 points in morning trade.

The 50-share Nifty also fell 62.55 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 10,772.75.

According to brokers, investor sentiment took a beating after Pakistan claimed that it shot down two Indian military aircraft over Pakistani air space and arrested one of the pilots.

The Pakistani fighter jets on Wednesday violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and Nowshera sectors.

12:08 pm IST

Rajnath reviews security situation

Home Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday reviewed the security situation in the country, especially along the border with Pakistan, a day after Indian fighter jets bombed the biggest camp of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad in that country, officials said.

During the meeting, attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval among others, a detailed presentation was given about the security situation in the country and steps taken to ensure peace in all sensitive places.

Singh directed the officials to ensure the Border Security Force, which guards the India-Pakistan border continues to remain on highest level of alertness so that any misadventure from across the border could be foiled, a home ministry official said.

12:01 pm IST

‘Don’t want to escalate tensions, but we are prepared’, says Pakistan

“Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace. This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at non military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence.

We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm. That is why we undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight. For the last few years, India has been trying to establish what they call “a new normal” a thinly veiled term for doing acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day.

If India is striking at so called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan. We do not wish to go to that route and wish that India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation,” read a statement released by Pakistan on Wednesday.

11:50 am IST

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval arrives at Home Ministry

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval arrived at the Home Ministry in Delhi.

11:45 am IST

Hope India, Pak conduct dialogue to establish facts through investigation: Wang Yi

“As a mutual friend to both India and Pakistan, we hope that they can conduct dialogue to establish facts through investigation to keep things under control and maintain peace and stability in the region. In this process China is playing a constructive role not the opposite,” said China’s foreign minister Wang Yi.

11:42 am IST

Russia, China and India reaffirmed strong opposition to terrorism: Wang Yi

“Russia, China and India reaffirmed strong opposition to terrorism. At the same time we (China) believe Pakistan has always been opposed to terrorism. China appreciates statements from Indian and Pak friends saying they’ll exercise restraint and avoid escalation of situation,” said China’s foreign minister Wang Yi.

11:37 am IST

Pakistani jets violate Indian air space in Nowshera

Pakistani jets violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowshera sector but were successfully confronted.

An official said the jets were immediately pushed back by Indian jets on air patrol.

10:55 am IST

Discussed establishment of UN led global counter-terrorism mechanism: Swaraj

“We need a global strategy, global cooperation. I’m happy to tell you today we discussed the establishment of UN led global counter-terrorism mechanism and finalising CCIT (Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism) proposed by India to implement it,” said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in Wuzhen, China.

“As far as Pulwama is concerned, I had raised this issue in the bilateral meeting with Mr Wang Yi and also at RIC (Russia-India-China) forum,” she added.

10:42 am IST

All countries need to show ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism: Sushma Swaraj

Terrorists attacks like Pulwama are a grim reminder for the need of all countries to show ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday, a day after India conducted pre-emptive air strikes deep inside Pakistan hitting Jaish-e-Mohammad training camps.

The operation was carried out in light of Pakistan’s refusal to acknowledge and act against terror groups operating from its soil and credible information that JeM was planning attacks in India, she said.

10:10 am IST

India’s response to Pulwama attack top agenda of Opposition meet

Left parties will participate in the meeting of the opposition parties, scheduled to be held later today. They had earlier said that they will not participate in the meeting. Pulwama attack and India’s response to it are on the agenda of discussion, reported news agency ANI.

9:55 am IST

Defence minister to meet Army, IAF, Navy chiefs shortly

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will attend DAC (Defence Acquisition Council) meeting shortly today.

9:35 am IST

Mumbai on high alert, govt asks schools to exercise caution

In the wake of air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot, the Maharashtra government has called for office bearers of the School & Co. Bus Owner’s Association to ensure the safety of school children keeping the prevailing situation in mind, reported news agency ANI.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the state legislature that security has been tightened across the city and appealed to people not to panic.

After intelligence informed Mumbai police to be on high alert, the vigilance and CCTV surveillance has been increased in places like the airport, railway stations, and other key locations.

9:22 am IST

2 Jaish terrorists killed

At least two Jaish terrorists were killed in an encounter that broke out with security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

9:20 am IST

Villagers being shifted to safer places

After cross LoC shelling and ceasefire violations , the villagers in some areas of Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri are being shifted to safer places according to officials.

9:05 am IST

Balakot camp blown up by IAF was Jaish’s preferred training spot for 18 yrs

Balakot’s Jaba Top first emerged as a preferred training ground for militants in the time of President Zia-ul-Haq. It was an ideal place for a camp for non-state actors — remote, located near a small town, yet far enough from it, on a wooded hilltop, and on Pakistani territory in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. India crossed into Pakistan’s territory in 1971 (and then again, its aircraft on Tuesday), and so the Pakistanis may have thought it was a good place to host a training camp for militants whom the rest of the world called terrorists.

8:58 am IST

Underscore priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action: Mike Pompeo to Pak foreign minister

“I spoke to Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil,” said US Secy of State Mike Pompeo, according to news agency ANI.

8:50 am IST

Objective was to act against terrorist infrastructure: Sushma Swaraj in China

“It wasn’t a military op, no military installation targeted. Objective was to act against terrorist infrastructure of JeM to preempt another terror attack in India. India doesn’t wish to see further escalation of situation. It’ll continue to act with responsibility and restraint,” said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the 16th Foreign Ministers meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Wuzhen, China.

8:45 am IST

Target selected to avoid civilian casualties: Sushma Swaraj

“In the light of continuing refusal of Pak to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory and based on credible info that JeM was planning other attacks in parts of India, GoI decided to take preemptive action and target was selected in order to avoid civilian casualties,” said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the 16th foreign ministers meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Wuzhen, China, reported news agency ANI.

8:43 am IST

Pakistan outrightly denied any knowledge of Pulwama attack: Sushma Swaraj

“Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder for the need of all the countries to show zero tolerance to terrorism and take decisive action against it.

Following the Pulwama terrorist attack instead of taking seriously the calls by international community to act against Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terror groups based in Pakistan, it denied any knowledge of the attack and outrightly dismissed claims by Jaish-e-Mohammed,” said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the 16th foreign ministers meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Wuzhen, China, reported news agency ANI.

8:40 am IST

Did the US know of India’s strike on Balakot? And how much?

Asked about India’s right to self-defence, President Donald Trump told reporters last week, “India is looking at something very strong. And, I mean, India just lost almost 50 people and... with an attack, so I can understand that also.”

And his national security adviser John Bolton had on his own told reporters at a briefing that he had conveyed to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in a phone call “that we support India’s right to self-defence”.

8:37 am IST

Only 7 people knew of timing of air strike

On February 18, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the strike. According to intelligence officials, only seven people knew of this decision – Modi, Doval, the three service chiefs, and the heads of RAW and Intelligence Bureau.

Starting February 22, the Air Force started flying night sorties from various frontline bases to confuse the Pakistanis. On February 25, intelligence inputs suggested the presence of a large number of JeM terrorists, around 300-350, at the Balakot camp. The same evening it was decided to go ahead with the strike immediately. Modi knew by late evening that an attack could happen in the next few hours.

8:31 am IST

Exercise ‘maximum restraint’: UN chief to India, Pakistan

UN chief Antonio Guterres is following the situation between India and Pakistan “very closely” and has appealed to the governments of both nations to exercise “maximum restraint” to ensure the situation does not deteriorate further, a top UN official said Tuesday.

The UN Secretary General’s remarks came after Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a pre-dawn air strike on a terror training camp inside Pakistan.

8:27 am IST

Pak must take ‘action’ against terror groups: US after IAF strikes

Pakistan must take ‘meaningful action’ against terror groups, says US after IAF strikes on Jaish camp, reported news agency PTI.

8:25 am IST

Encounter underway between militants, security forces in J-K’s Shopian

An encounter broke out on Wednesday between militants and security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Meemendar area of Shopian following information about presence of militants there, the officials said.

They said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened firing towards the security forces, who retaliated.