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US, Pak discuss security environment hours after IAF strike in Balakot

The strike was the first by the Indian Air Force (IAF) inside Pakistan after the 1971 war

Joseph Dunford

General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US. Photo: Reuters

Press Trust of India Washington
General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Tuesday spoke to his Pakistani counterpart General Zubair Mahmood Hayat to discuss the "current security environment" in Pakistan, the Pentagon said, amid the spike in Indo-Pak tensions following the Pulwama terror attack.
The telephonic talk is the highest level of contact between the two armies a day after India bombed and destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) biggest terrorist training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC) early Tuesday, killing a "very large number" of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.
The strike was the first by the Indian Air Force (IAF) inside Pakistan after the 1971 war.
Ramping up the rhetoric, Pakistan has threatened retaliation.
"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F Dunford, Jr spoke today with Pakistan Chief of Defence Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat. The senior leaders discussed the current security environment in Pakistan," Joint Staff Spokesperson Col. Patrick S. Ryder said in a brief statement.
No other details were immediately available.
Forty Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed in a suicide attack by Pakistan-based JeM in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14, sparking outrage in India and global condemnation.
Over the years, despite a deterioration in US-Pakistan bilateral ties, Gen Dunford has maintained a good working relationship with both his Pakistani counterpart Gen Hayat and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

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First Published: Feb 27 2019 | 6:30 AM IST

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