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Pakistan summons Acting Indian High Commissioner to protest IAF strikes


IANS Islamabad
Pakistan on Tuesday summoned the Acting Indian High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to the Foreign Office to lodge its protest over the Indian Air Force (IAF) strikes on terrorist training camps across the Line of Control (LoC), the media reported.
Citing the Foreign Office, the Pakistani media reported a protest demarche was also handed over to Ahluwalia.
Earlier in the day, a special meeting of Pakistan's National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to take up the matter at all international fora.
Pakistan admitted the IAF planes struck Balakot, but claimed they returned when it scrambled its war planes and that there were no losses on the ground. However, within hours of the strike, Pakistan threatened a "befitting response".
Twelve days after a JeM suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF troopers, India on early Tuesday struck the Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) biggest training camp at Balakot, killing "a very large number" of terrorists and their trainers.
Foreign Secretary Vijay K. Gokhale told the media "in an intelligence-led operation in the early hours of Tuesday, IAF struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot."
A large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jehadis being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. "This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), brother-in-law of (JeM leader) Masood Azhar," he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that India is putting the regional peace and stability at risk in pursuit of its political and electoral targets.
In a phone conversation with Pompeo following the IAF's strikes on terrorist training camps in Pakistan earlier on Tuesday, Qureshi told Pompeo that Indian "aggression was worthy of condemnation" and hoped that the US would play its role in the situation.
According to the Foreign Office (FO), the Foreign Minister apprised Pompeo about India's LoC violations as well as the emotions of Pakistani government, parliament and the people, the Dawn reported.

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First Published: Feb 26 2019 | 11:56 PM IST

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