Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Indian Airstrikes Hit Pakistan- Islamic Bloc Meets on Kashmir

1- Based on what’s being reported India launched limited air strikes.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale says aircraft targeted Jaish-e-Mohammed camps in a pre-emptive strike.
“In an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terroirsts, trainers, senior commanders nd groups of jjihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, Chief of JeM.”

This comes as Pakistani military officials had earlier said that the Indian fighter jets had intruded 3 to 4 miles in Muzafarabad and were forced to retreat by dropping their payload hastily after facing on time response from the security forces.

Today’s airstrike was carried out in response to the February 14th suicide attack in Pulwama which claimed the lives of more than 40 Indian soldiers.

2- Pakistan is claiming they will respond. In time. 


Imran Khan

Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC) said on Tuesday that the country will respond “at a time and place of its choosing” to the air strike on Pakistan by Indian Air Force (IAF) which took out a major camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot.

Following a meeting chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, the NSC issued a statement saying that “India has committed uncalled for aggression”.

Dawn reported that the committee “strongly rejected Indian claim of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot as well as the claim of heavy casualties”.

“Once again Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim,” the statement said.

“This action has been done for domestic consumption being in election environment, putting regional peace and stability at grave risk,” it said.

The Pakistan government said that it will take domestic and international media to the site of the air strike for them to “see the facts on the ground”.

“Forum concluded that India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing,” it said.

Khan also directed Pakistan’s armed forces and citizens to “remain prepared for all eventualities”.

He also summoned a special meeting of the National Command Authority on Wednesday.

The NSC meeting was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and other military and civilian officials, including cabinet members.
  Responding gives the appearance that Pakistan supports these terrorists, which they
(Pak military) most likely do, so the response will be covert vs overt. In my opinion.
Most likely taking the form of still another terror attack.
Which will allow the Pakistan government to operate at arms length from the attacks. Simultaneously playing the ‘tough on terror’ card., yet giving cover to the numerous terror groups that operate from multiple areas within Pakistan’s territory.

3- Pakistan Requests Urgent Meeting in Jeddah  :

Two Days Before 46th Session Will be Attended by India’s foreign minister- I hope this will signal something postive, but, not likely. In fact it feels to me almost as if an ambush of India’s FM ( first image above) is being planned. Hope I’m wrong, of course.

As the deadly Feb. 14 attack in Kashmir continues to rock Indian-Pakistani relations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Tuesday met for an urgent meeting to discuss the disputed region.

Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, told a press briefing in Islamabad today that at Pakistan’s request, the OIC on last Sunday scheduled an emergency meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia of its Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting comes in the aftermath of this month's attack in Indian-administered Kashmir, in which 44 Indian soldiers were killed. New Delhi squarely blamed Islamabad for the attack, which was claimed by the banned Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant group. Pakistan denied any involvement.

The meeting comes two days before the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meets for its 46th session in Abu Dhabi on March 1 and 2.

For the first time in the 50-year history of the Islamic bloc, the Abu Dhabi session will be attended by India’s foreign minister as a “guest of honor,” as invited by the United Arab Emirates.

4- China Urges Both Nations to Exercise Restraint

"We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and adopt actions that will help stabilise the situation in the region and improve mutual relations," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

I'm with China on this one. Cooler heads need to prevail.

Had read this yesterday...though it is from last week.

 Imran Khan certainly fanned the flames with this speech. Leaving India with no options but to respond to the challenge.
(excerpts below)

If Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s televised address today afternoon, breaking his silence on the fedayeen attack in Pulwama, is to be succinctly captured in a single pithy sentence, it is that he has thrown the gauntlet down at PM Narendra Modi. (Transcript) 
The real political thrust of the speech lies in taunting, challenging and threatening Modi by in turn. It is a call to political duel where Imran Khan is confident that he holds the advantage. Imran Khan failed to condemn the Pulwama attack — although Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed credit for it.
Imran Khan directly addressed Modi twice in his address. He first taunted Modi as a politician who is “stuck in the past” who still seemed to think that as in the times of “Mian” Musharraf, he could get away by treating Pakistan as a “whipping boy”. 
Imran Khan reminded Modi that on the contrary, he is dealing with an adversary whose grit and vile will prove more than a match for him. In fact, he exuded a confident tone throughout and spoke resolutely without at any time getting agitated or indulge in any theatrical outburst.
While those kind of tough talks play well domestically, sitting here in Canada, it feels like a shroud of doom descending on the planet. Two nuclear armed nation states..

Imran Khan’s speech contained three key elements.
First and foremost, his pointed reference to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is highly significant. He implied that India has virtually lost Kashmir due to the disastrous policies pursued during the last 5 years — Modi government’s approach of “one dimensional (state) oppression, torture and resolving issues through military”. 
Imran Khan underscored in essence that Indian policies are at a dead-end in the face of a mass upheaval in the Valley. Curiously, Imran Khan did not even bother to repeat the usual mantra that Pakistan’s support for the Kashmiri people will be by way of extending political, moral and diplomatic efforts. 
Nor did he care at any point to appeal to the international community. There was a tone of triumphalism throughout in his remarks — that it is check-and-checkmate for India in J&K.  
Without doubt, the victory in sight in Afghanistan gives Pakistan a free hand now to turn to the Kashmir Valley. Significantly, Imran Khan twice brought in the analogy of Afghanistan. He hinted at the defeat staring the US in the face in the 17-year old Afghan war and the grudging admission by Washington lately that only through talks and negotiations with the Taliban can the Afghan problem be resolved.
Of course, Imran Khan didn’t say what brought about the military stalemate for the Americans and NATO in Afghanistan — namely, Pakistan’s sustained backing for the Taliban insurgency. But his message is that a similar fate awaits India in the Kashmir Valley where also a stalemate is steadily developing on the ground. 
The stark implications of this reference to Afghan war shouldn’t be lost sight of. Simply put, Imran Khan has just stopped short of threatening that Pakistan will fuel the insurgency until fatigue sets in for the Indian side, which will then be compelled to come to the negotiating table to sue for peace and an honourable retreat by the Indian Army. In fact, right at the beginning of his speech Imran Khan reminded Modi that it is dealing with a “new Pakistan with a new mindset and a new thought process.”