LoC heats up as Pakistan resorts to heavy shelling, next 72 hours critical; India briefs envoys

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Published: February 26, 2019 8:01:37 PM

According to the MEA, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had briefed the envoys including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, France, Russia and China, known as ‘P5’).

air strike, surgical strike 2, Air force strike, UN Security Council, Vijay Gokhale, india, pakistan, Pulwama attackInformed sources have indicated that the US was told about the Operation which was carried out based on intelligence report. (Representational image: IE)

Even as senior officers in the Indian Army say that the next 72 hours are crucial, India tells ambassadors of all the countries including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, France, Russia and China, known as ‘P5’) that the strike in Balakot was a non-military pre-emptive strike. India wanted to target terrorists, not civilians.

Coming out of the briefing, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in India, Ambassador Hans Castellano said “We want to congratulate Ministry of External Affairs for quickly briefing us. Message was a direct one. It was a non-military pre-emptive strike. India wanted to target terrorists, not civilians. India behaved responsibly”

Also read| Surgical Strikes 2.0 LIVE: Pakistan Army confirms Indian jets dropped ‘four bombs’

According to the MEA, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had briefed the envoys including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, France, Russia and China, known as ‘P5’).

These P5 countries had together on Feb 14 condemned the Pulwama attack and called it “cowardly”. Informed sources have indicated that the US was told about the Operation which was carried out based on intelligence report.

Earlier in the day Gokhale told the media-persons that Pakistan had failed to pay heed to India’s repeated requests to take decisive action against the JeM, thus forcing India to take pre-emptive action to stop the JeM from carrying out more suicide attacks against India.

On Wednesday, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj besides other matters, Pakistan-sponsored terrorism will also features in the 16th Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral meeting as well as at bilateral meetings with her Chinese and Russian counterparts Wang Yi and Sergei Lavrov.

Late evening at the end of all party meeting, Swaraj told the media that all the parties praised the security forces and anti-terror operations of the government.”

Applauding the successful ‘Op Balakot’, a senior army officer sharing his views on condition of anonymity has said that “Today’s strike is a job well done by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The borders well be heating up and things will be tense.” Adding, “The next 72 hours are very critical.” It maybe pointed out that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the attack on CRPF personnel had given the Armed Forces a free hand to take caction.

Meantime, Pakistan has slammed India’s IAF strike, for committing “uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at a time and place of its choosing”.

Sources have confirmed that total five Mirage 2000 aircraft had crossed the Line of Control (LoC), before firing multiple Spice-2000 precision-guided bombs, which have the training camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot.

Escorted by a mid-air refueller and two Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), today’s operation lasted almost 21 minutes starting at 3:45 am, during which the 1000 kg bombs were dropped.

Said Air Marshal M Matheswaran (retd), Chairman and President, The Peninsula Foundation, “The IAF has launched punitive strikes that is the right way to deal with the terrorist state Pakistan.”

Matheswaran added that “the terrorists’ outfits should be targeted relentlessly. The targets should be tracked even if they have been shifted out of POK. The strategy of isolating Pakistan in all domains of international community is right.”

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