Archive for ‘Foreign Secretary’

26/02/2019

Exercise restraint, says China after strike on Jaish’s biggest terror camp

The IAF strike on Jaish camp in Balakot deep across LoC comes a day before the foreign ministers of Russia, India, and China (RIC) are expected to meet in the eastern China town of Wuzhen under the RIC mechanism.

INDIA Updated: Feb 26, 2019 15:56 IST

Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Wuzhen (China)
China on Jaish,Masood Azhar,Indian Air force
China has urged India and [pakistan to exercise restrain after the Indian Air Force hit a Jaish camp in Balakot acro(AP file photo)

China on Tuesday urged India to fight terrorism through “international cooperation” hours after the Indian air force carried out a targeted strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camplocated across the Line of Control (LoC).

India should create “favourable” conditions internationally to fight terrorism, China added possibly in an oblique reference to New Delhi’s failure to convince Beijing to allow Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, Azhar Masood to be designated as a terrorist at the UN Security Council.

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The strike comes a day before the foreign ministers of Russia, India, and China (RIC) are expected to meet in the eastern China town of Wuzhen under the RIC mechanism.

Responding to a question on the air strike, the foreign ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang said both India and Pakistan — one of China’s closest allies — should maintain restraint.

“We have taken note of relevant reports. I want to say that India and Pakistan are both important countries. A sound relationship and cooperation serve the interests of peace and stability in South Asia. Both parties (should) remain restrained and do more to improve bilateral relations,” Lu Kang said.

Read: Nation in safe hands, says PM Modi

“As for India’s claims on taking action against terrorism, fighting terrorism is a global practice. It needs to be dealt with international cooperation. And India needs to create a favourable condition internationally for the same,” Lu said.

The Chinese foreign ministry’s reaction came soon after foreign secretary, VK Gokhale confirmed that Indian forces carried out a strike on the biggest camp of the terror group Jaih e Mohammed in Balakot area early on Tuesday.

“Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary,” the foreign secretary said.

The Chinese foreign ministry reacted carefully, keeping in mind its close ties with Pakistan and the fact that India’s decision to carry out the strike was triggered by JeM-planned Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel.

Read: After IAF strike on terror camp, Army tweets poem on power and peace

Interestingly, Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi and his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi spoke over phone about the Pulwama attack and its aftermath over the phone on Monday evening.

“Qureshi informed Wang of Pakistan’s stance on and measures to deal with the attack, reaffirming the country’s sincerity and resolution to communicate with India and find out the truth of the incident,” a report by China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said.

“Qureshi said Pakistan’s position on maintaining regional peace and fighting terrorism will remain unchanged and it is willing to join hands with other countries to cooperate in this area,” it added.

In the phone conversation, Wang said China supports Pakistan and India to resolve the issue through dialogue as soon as possible and avoid an escalation of the situation.

“He called on both sides to collaborate on fighting terrorism and jointly safeguard the security and stability of South Asia,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the Pulwama terrorist attack and the listing of Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN is expected to prominently figure at the 16th RIC foreign ministers’ meeting being held here on Wednesday.

Besides attending the annual trilateral meeting, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj would also hold bilateral talks with Chinese FM Wang and Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the meeting.

Swaraj’s meeting with Wang assumes significance as it will be the first high-level interaction between the two countries after the Pulwama terror attack and Tuesday’s air strike.

China, a veto-wielding member of the UNSC, has consistently blocked India, the US, the UK and France’s efforts to list Azhar as a global terrorist since 2016 but endorsed a scathing statement issued by UN Security Council on February 21 on the Pulwama attack.

Source: Hindustan Times

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26/02/2019

‘India in safe hands’: PM Modi’s assurance after IAF strikes terror camps across LoC

The Prime Minister had earlier in the day chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) after India carried out ‘non-military pre-emptive’ airstrikes targeting the JeM camp across the LoC.

Hours after India’s offensive on Pakistan-based terror camps across the LoC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “assured that the country was in safe hands”.

“Today I assure the countrymen, the country is in safe hands,” PM Modi said while addressing a public rally in Rajasthan’s Churu.

“I pledge on this soil, I will not let the country die, I will not let the country stop, I will not let the country bend. It is my promise to Mother India, I will protect your honour,” he added.

Speaking on the One Rank One Pension (OROP), PM Modi said he was happy that the scheme had benefited over 20 lakh military families across the country including thousands of families of Churu and Rajasthan.

The Prime Minister had earlier in the day chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) after India carried out “non-military pre-emptive” air strikes targeting the JeM camp across the LoC.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale addressing the media said India had received credible information on JeM attempting other attacks in the country and therefore a pre-emptive strike had become necessary.

Read | India has struck JeM’s biggest training camp, large number of terrorists, jihadis eliminated: Govt

He said the non-military pre-emptive action was targeted specifically at the JeM camp adding that the selection of the target was also conditioned to avoid civilian casualties.

In a 21-minute offensive, 12 Mirage 2000 jets carried out the strike at around 3.30 am and dropped 1000 Kg bombs on terror camps across LOC, completely destroying it.

The IAF jets struck terror camps and launch pads across the LoC in Balakot at around 3.45 am, Muzaffarabad at around 3.48 am and Chakoti at around 3.58 am.

Read | PM Modi chairs CCS meet after India hits terror camps across LoC; over 200 terrorists killed, say reports

The camp in Balakot was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother-in-law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar. Yusuf Azhar was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted in India.

Following the airstrikes, many leaders including that of the opposition lauded the action of the IAF and praised the PM for giving a free hand to the security forces after the Pulwama terror attack.

Over 44 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu-Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.

Source: The Statesman
16/02/2019

Political parties unite at all-party meet on Pulwama killings, slam Pak for supporting terror

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad stated that the Opposition parties have informed the home minister that they would stand with the government to end terror in the country.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

A resolution adopted by the all-party meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday condemned the cowardly terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama that left at least 44 jawans dead and over 45 seriously wounded.

The meeting was attended by leaders of the BJP government as well as opposition parties who unitedly expressed grief with the families of the bereaved.

The resolution also condemned terrorism in all forms as well as the support it was getting from across the border.

It further went on to say that “India has during the past three decades faced the menace of cross-border terrorism.”

In a direct attack at Pakistan, the resolution said, “terrorism in India has been actively encouraged by the forces across the border adding that India has displayed both firmness and resilience in dealing with these challenges”.

It said the entire nation speaks in one voice to express its determination to fight against terrorism.

“Today, we stand united in solidarity with our security forces in fighting terrorism and in defending the unity and integrity of India,” the resolution added.

The all-party meeting was held to brief top leaders of different parties on steps being taken by it to meet the challenge.

The meeting comes a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh went to Kashmir to take stock of the situation.

Read | Rajnath announces curbs on civilian movement when convoys of security pass any area

The meeting was attended by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien of the TMC, Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena, Jithendra Reddy of the TRS, D Raja of the CPI, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Ram Vilas Paswan of the LJP among others.

Naresh Gujral of the Akali Dal, Upendra Kushwaha of the RLSP and Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav are among others who are attending the meeting.

Addressing the media after the meet, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad stated that the Opposition parties have informed the home minister that they would stand with the government to end terror in the country.

“We stand with the government for unity and security of the nation and security forces. Be it Kashmir or any other part of the nation, Congress party gives its full support to the government in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

The opposition parties also requested the Home Minister to request the PM to meet the presidents of all national and regional parties, Azad said.

This was supported by other parties too, he added.

“We have also decided that there are many disagreements with the government, but for the sake of our country, security of all, we will stand with the government to end terror. The government has our support,” Azad said.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

Read | 44 CRPF jawans killed, nearly 45 injured in suicide attack in J-K’s Pulwama; JeM claims responsibility

A suicide bomber had rammed an SUV carrying 350 kg of explosives into a bus carrying the CRPF troopers in the deadliest attack in decades on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

India had earlier rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

Political parties have closed ranks following the attack and have offered their support to the NDA government on its response on the matter.

Expressing solidarity with the Government of India and the security forces, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday condemned the dastardly attack.

Addressing a press conference, Rahul Gandhi said the type of violence unleashed against the soldiers was “disgusting”.

Refusing to comment on any other issue, Rahul Gandhi said this was a time of mourning, sadness and respect adding that the Congress is fully supporting the Government and the security forces.

Source: The Staesman
15/02/2019

Kashmir attack: Pak envoy summoned, ‘verifiable’ action against JeM sought

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told the high commissioner that Pakistan must take “immediate and verifiable action” against the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack in Kashmir.

INDIA Updated: Feb 15, 2019 15:12 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi Jhansi,Modi Pulwama attack,Pulwama attack
Prime Minister Narendra Modi(PTI file photo)

India on Friday summoned Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood to lodge a strong protest over the suicide bombing in south Kashmir’s Pulwama by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told the high commissioner that Pakistan must take “immediate and verifiable action” against the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack in Kashmir.

A Jaish suicide bomber on Thursday rammed a car packed with explosives into a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. The CRPF has confirmed 38 deaths in the suicide bombing, counted among the bloodiest in Kashmir. Initial reports, quoting security officials, had said 44 jawans were feared to have been killed in the attack.

The foreign secretary also told Pakistan that it must “immediately stop” groups or individuals linked to terrorism operating from its territories.

In the hours after Thursday’s attack, New Delhi had issued a strong statement that accused Pakistan of giving “full freedom” to the terror group to operate and expand its terror infrastructure to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity.

Islamabad responded with a two-line statement that said it had “always condemned heightened acts of violence” in Kashmir. Pakistan also said it will “strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations”.

Foreign Secretary Gokhale rejected this statement by the Pakistan foreign office.

Source: Hindustan Times

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