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‘Strikes across LoC from within Pak airspace’, claims Pakistan

Pakistan, in the statement, claimed that it had no intention to escalate the situation “but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm”.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2019 13:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Pakistan,IAF,air strikes
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a special meeting of the National Security Committee at Pak PMO in Islamabad on Tuesday.(ANI)

Pakistan on Wednesday claimed that its air force undertook strikes on the Indian side of the Line of Control “from within Pakistani airspace”. The Pakistan government statement said its strikes “were not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence”.

In a statement titled “Pakistani Strikes Back”, Islamabad said “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.” (Live updates)

There has been no response from the Indian government on Pakistan’s claim.

Pakistan, in the statement, claimed that it had no intention to escalate the situation “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.”

Also read: Pakistani jets violate Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowshera, F-16 shot down

The Pakistani statement said: “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.”

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 air space violation by Pakistani jets comes a day after Indian Air Force jets destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest terror camp across the Line of Control in Balakot.

Also read: Only seven people knew of the timing of air strike on Balakot

Indian forces carried out a strike at the biggest camp of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot early on Tuesday morning. Indian Air Force dropped 1,000 pound bombs in a thickly-forested hilltop that eliminated a large number of terrorists. The terror camp was headed by Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Maulana Yousuf Azhar.

First Published: Feb 27, 2019 13:20 IST