After Balakot, UK says concerned by rising India-Pakistan tensions

After Balakot, UK says concerned by rising India-Pakistan tensions

"Attacks alike Pulwama and Mumbai are planned by India itself", he stated, adding that it has been usual practice of India to blame Pakistan for such attacks.

New Delhi had threatened to retaliate after the deadliest attack in three decades in Kashmir killed more than 40 Indian paramilitaries.

"Top government sources said that there were almost 200 casualties from the (Indian Air Force) strike", private broadcaster CNN News 18 said.

After Indian Air Force carried out pre-emptive air strikes to counter terrorism across the LoC (Line of Control) Balakot on intervening night of 25 and 26 February to destroy terror camps of Masood Azhar's Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Pakistan said there had been no casualties at all.

In the Balakot camp, the terrorists were imparted the advanced "Daura-e-Khaas" training in weapons, explosives and field tactics, attack on convoys of security forces, planting and making of IEDs, suicide bombing, rigging vehicles for suicide attacks and survival tactics in high altitudes and extreme-stress situations, they said.

Gen. Asif Ghafoor said the Indian jets had dropped their bombs "in haste while escaping" from a "timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force". "We expect that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment and takes follow up actions to dismantle all JeM and other camps and holds the terrorists accountable for their actions", he said.

The Pakistani side published four images of what appeared to be damage to an unpopulated area from what it claimed was the "payload" of the Indian fighters.

In an election rally in Rajasthan, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the people that "India is in safe hands".

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.

"In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated".

He asked the Indian leadership to "rethink its war strategy" and warned that if India initiated a war, then Pakistan would hoist its flag in New Delhi, Geo News reported. Pakistan denies any involvement.

Balakot is about 7km over the ceasefire border known as the "line of control" based on lines established after the first war the two countries fought over Kashmir shortly after independence in 1947.

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