Indo-Pak Tensions Escalate, One Pilot in Pak Custody
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.(Photo: PTI/Altered by The Quint)

Indo-Pak Tensions Escalate, One Pilot in Pak Custody

Pakistan Air Force F-16 jet, that violated the Indian airspace on Wednesday, 27 February, has been shot down three kilometers within the Pakistan territory, reported ANI.

India said that Pakistani jets entered border areas of Nowshera sector in J&K’s Rajouri district and dropped bombs on their way out.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has claimed that the PAF has shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace and have arrested one Indian pilot. However, according to media reports, the IAF has denied it.

This comes a day after the Indian Air Force carried out air strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said that a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commander and Jihadis were killed in the strike.

Click here for all the live updates.

Snapshotclose

  • Entire airspace, north of Delhi, has been vacated, reported PTI
  • 3 Pakistani jets reportedly violated the Indian airspace and dropped bombs on their way out
  • Pakistan Armed Forces spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor claimed that the PAF shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace
  • On Tuesday, Pak Armed Forces Spokesperson said Pakistan will “surprise” India with its response that will be in all domains including “diplomatic, political and military”
  • 12 Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets carried out airstrikes across the LoC destroying terror camps on 26 Feb

Click here to read the updates in Hindi.

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IAF Jets Violated the LoC, Pak Army Alleges

Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor, on Twitter claimed "Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircraft gone back."

Attempt to Attack JeM Camps: Reports

Multiple Indian Air Force jets crossed LoC and attempts were made to attack Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camps in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, reported CNN-News18 quoting government sources.

However the quantum of damage has not yet been ascertained but the channel reported that there was a huge blast heard near Balakot.

Pak Armed Forces Spokesperson Tweets Pictures of the Strike

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12 Mirage Jets Dropped 1,000 Kg Bombs: Reports

12 Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck terror camps across the LoC at 3:30 am on Tuesday, 26 February, and dropped 1,000 kg bombs destroying the camps, reported ANI quoting IAF sources.

200-300 Casualties: Reports

Top government sources said that the casualties run in hundreds, reported CNN-News18.

If True, Not a Small Strike by Any Stretch: Omar Abdullah

National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah tweeted saying if the news is true then the strike is not “small’ by any stretch.

Rupee Opens Lower at 71.26 Against Dollar

The rupee slipped 29 paise to open at 71.26 against the US dollar in Tuesday’s early trade. The currency had closed at 70.97 on Monday.

Balakot Quite Far Into LoC, Without Casualties Highly Successful Mission: Singhvi

Responding to the news of a possible air strike by India, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said, “Balakot which is quite far out into the LOC is a deep strike and purportedly where Hafeez Saeed gives a lot of his addresses. If IAF penetrated that deep without casualties it's a highly successful mission.”

India Crossed LoC, Attacked Pakistan: Mosharraf Asif

“If Indian Air Force planes dropped payload in Balakot, they crossed across the LOC, and then across the entirety of Azad Kashmir, and then into Khyber Pakhtukhwa,” tweeted Pakistan based strategic expert.

If They Have Gone Deep Into Pak, It Shows Our Planning: Vinod Patney

Former Air Chief Marshal Vinod Patney told CNN-News18 that after Pulwama attack India had to retaliate and do something.

“If they have really gone deep into Pakistan then it says two things: Our planning and lack of planning on the other side. Of course, there are some characters on the other side who will say nothing happened.”

KEY EVENT

I Salute The Pilots of IAF: Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to “salute” the pilots of the Indian Air Force.

PM Modi Reportedly Meeting Defence Minister and Fin Min

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reportedly in a meeting with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

This is Modi's India: MoS Agriculture

Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat hailed the air strike and congratulated the prime minister for “destroying” the terror camps across the LoC.

Salute the Bravery of IAF Who Made Us Proud: Delhi CM

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, too, hailed the “strike” and saluted the bravery of Indian Air Force.

KEY EVENT

IAF on High Alert After Reported Strikes

Indian Air Force has been put on high alert. All air defence systems along the International border and LoC to respond to any possible action by Pakistan Air Force.

KEY EVENT

First Photo of PM Modi Holding Meeting With Top Leaders Post Strike

(Photo: ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting on Tuesday, 26 February, at his residence 7 Lok Kalyan Marg after the IAF carried out cross-border strike.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale were present for the meeting.

JeM Leaders Were Moved to Safe Locations Before the Strike: Reports

JeM leaders were moved to a safe location before the air strike carried by the Indian Air Force, reported India Today quoting sources.

Brother of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, Abdul Rouf Asghar, is believed to have been moved out to Punjab.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Calls an Emergency Meeting

(Photo: AP)

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has summoned an emergency meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Proud of Our Forces: Tejashwi Yadav

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav saluted the bravery of pilots and Air Force and said “proud of our forces”.

Mirage Fighters Took Off From Ambala Airbase: Reports

The Mirage fighters, that were used for the air strike, took off from the Ambala air base, and the whole operation took 30 minutes, reported BBC quoting IAF sources.

KEY EVENT

Foreign Secretary to Brief the Media at 11:30 AM

There will be a briefing by Foreign Secretary at 11: 30 am.

One Target Destroyed in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Area: Reports

One of the targets destroyed by the IAF Mirage jets was in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area, reported ANI quoting sources.

‘Necessary Step for Security’: Javadekar on IAF’s Strike in Pak

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that IAF's strike across LoC was ‘necessary for the security’. He further said that the entire country is backing the forces.

Each Time You Attack, We Will Get Back Harder and Stronger: MoS External Affairs

Minister of State for External Affairs, VK Singh said, “They say they want India to bleed with a 1000 cuts. We say that each time you attack us, be certain we will get back at you, harder and stronger.”

Salute the Air Force for Meticulous Operation: Ram Madhav

BJP leader Ram Madhav tweeted, “Every Indian who had d pain n anguish of d martyrdom of our forces is greatly relieved and delighted this morning. Salute to d Air Force for a meticulous operation. Our forces r world class anyway. It is d political will of our PM n team that made all d difference. (sic)”

Also Read : ‘Salute the Pilots’: Rahul Gandhi, Others React to IAF Air Strike

Good Step by the Govt: Lt Gen Hooda

Lt Gen DS Hooda, who oversaw the surgical strike, said that this is a good step by the government.

Speaking to ANI Gen Hooda said, “I am happy that this has been done. After Pulwama it was necessary.” He further complimented the government for its planning.

Also Read : Experts Dub IAF Strikes ‘Aggressive Response,’ Wonder What’s Next

KEY EVENT

India Struck the Biggest JeM Terror Camp in Balakot: Foreign Secy

“India struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot,” said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, adding that it was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar.

He further said that a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commander and Jihadis were eliminated.

“India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all measures to fight the menace of terrorism. This non-military pre-emptive action was targeted specifically at JeM camp. The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties,” Gokhale added.

Gokhale further said that credible information was received that JeM was attempting other attacks in the country.

Also Read : JeM Was Planning More Attacks: MEA Confirms IAF Strike in Balakot

Deep Strike Inside Pakistan, Embarassing for Pak: Omar Abdullah

NC leader Omar Abdullah tweeted saying that the air strike by the Indian Air Force is “hugely embarrassing” for Pakistan.

Also Read : Pakistani Journalists Question Govt After IAF’s Strikes Across LoC

Sushma Swaraj Calls for an All Party Meeting at 5 PM

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has called an all-party meeting at 5pm today.

NSA Doval Reviewing Security Situation at the Border

NSA Ajit Doval along with Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat and IAF Chief BS Dhanoa is reviewing the security situation at the border after the India Air Force carried out strikes at JeM terror camps in Balakot across LoC.

'Grave Aggression': Pak Foreign Minister Responds to India's Strike

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi calls the air strike by the Indian Air Force a “grave aggression”.

“This is a violation of LoC and Pakistan has the right to retaliate and self defence,” Qureshi added.

We Support the Forces in Whatever Action They Take: Kharge

Responding to IAF’s air strike, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, “We have always said that whatever action the forces take for protection of this nation, all of us will support them in unit; they are taking action against the terrorists in Pakistan.”

Hope Objectives of Both Sides Have Been Served: Mehbooba Mufti

PDP leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti tweeted about the “contradictory” reports on the casualties.

“Official communique by FS claims that terror training camps were bombed while Pak denied this and said that the planes made a hasty retreat after being spotted. Hope objective of both sides has been served. (sic)”

JeM Terrorist Yusuf Azhar’s Camp Was Destroyed by IAF: Who Is He?

Giving a briefing on the air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force across the LoC on Tuesday, 26 February, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that India struck the "biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot, adding that the facility was headed by Masood Azhar's brother-in-law."

Yusuf Azhar's name has popped up in one of the most infamous hijacking incidents in the past – that of IC 814 in Afghanistan’s Kandahar in December 1999. Yusuf is said to have played a key role in the hijacking.

Read the full story here.

'Violation of LoC Unacceptable by Pak Army': Pak Defence Min

Reacting to the air strikes conducted by India, Pakistan Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said, “Violation of the line of control by India is unacceptable to Pakistan army and people of the country and safety.”

IAF Air Strike: BJP President Congratulates PM Modi

BJP President Amit Shah congratulated the prime minister for carrying out the air strikes across the border.

In a tweet, Shah said, “I congratulate the security forces of our country for their bravery.”

I Assure Countrymen, India Is In Safe Hands: PM Modi

Addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Churu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Today I assure the countrymen, the country is in safe hands.”

Recounting his slogan from 2014 elections, Modi once again said, “Saugandh mujhe is mitti ki main desh nahi mitne doonga, main desh nahi rukne doonga. Main desh nahi jhukne doonga.

China Urges India, Pak to ‘Exercise Restraint’ After Air Strike

China urges India and Pakistan to ‘exercise restraint’ hours after the former carried out air strikes across the LoC, reported AFP.

300 Terrorists Killed in the Operation: Reports

Entire terror set-up in the suicide bombing training centre in Balakot has been demolished, reported ANI quoting sources.

ANI further reported that 300 terrorists have been eliminated in the operation.

Flags of US, UK and Israel Reportedly Seen at JeM Camp

Flags of USA, UK and Israel were painted on the staircase of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) facility destroyed by Indian Air Force jets in Balakot, reported ANI.

Two JeM Terrorists targeted in Today's Air Strike

Head of Kashmir Operations Mufti Azhar Khan Kashmiri and elder brother of Masood Azhar, Ibrahim Athar, who was also involved in the IC-814 hijacking were reportedly targeted in today’s air strike.

Pak Leaders to Address Media at 3:30 IST

Pakistan's foreign minister, defence minister and finance minister to address a press conference at 3:30 IST.

"India Making Fictitious Claim," Says Imran Khan's PTI

A special meeting of the National Security Committee chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan was held at his office. The meeting was attended by senior Pakistan officers and ministers and rejected India’s claims of the air strike, calling it fictitious.

'Will Respond at Our Time and Place of Choosing': Pakistan

Pakistan's National Security Committee (NSC) after a meeting chaired by Pakistan PM Imran Khan said that India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing.

'Proud of Our Forces:' Kamal Haasan

Actor politician Kamal Haasan said that India has done what any self-respecting country would do.

“We have done what any self-respecting country would do. We are proud of what our forces have done for us. They are our shield, and they have behaved exactly like a shield. We are very proud. Salute to our fighters,” he said.

'Pak Will Respond,' Says Foreign Minister

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan will respond to the incursion conducted by the Indian Air Force across the LoC. He also said that India conducted the attempt for propaganda ahead of the general elections in the country.

He also said that Pakistan will take international media to the site of the air strikes.

“Pakistan will take international media to the area of strikes, helicopters are being readied, right now weather is bad, will fly when weather permits,” he said.

Punjab Puts Border Districts on High Alert

Punjab has put its border districts on high alert in the wake of the Indian Air Force's (IAF) strikes across the Line of Control, undertaken by India as a retaliatory measure in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also held a high-level meeting with state minister Manpreet Badal and senior officials in the wake of the strikes.

Country is in Safe Hands: Ram Madhav

BJP’s Ram Madhav said that the country is in safe hands and the will pf PM Modi led to the air strikes conducted by IAF.

“Country is in safe hands, it is the will power of the PM that has led to the action today. We had political leadership in PM Modi which decided this time to act. We acted in a responsible manner, protected India's interest and ensured we didn't violate international norms,” he said.

“After Pulwama attack, the nation was mourning for 12 days and on the 13th day our valiant Air-force paid the real tribute to the martyred soldiers by destroying terror training camps deep inside Pakistan territory,” he added.

J&K Administrations Asks Citizens to Remain Calm, Not Believe in Rumours

The Jammu and Kashmir administration advised people in the state to stay calm and not to believe in rumours in the aftermath of the Indian Air Force's strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed's terror camp in Pakistan.

Tranquillity prevailed along the Indo-Pakistan border in J&K after the strikes destroyed terror camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

However, the troops are on high alert, a senior army officer said.

"The situation is peaceful along the LoC in J&K. There are no reports of any untoward incident reported from anywhere," the officer told PTI.

All Party Meet Underway

An all party meet, chaired by Minister of External affairs Sushma Swaraj is underway in the backdrop of the air strikes conducted by India on Pakistan’s terror camps.

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  • (Photo: ANI)

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Australia Asks Pak to Take Action Against Terror Groups

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said that Pakistan needs to eliminate terror groups operating from its soil and take responsibility for the 14 February attack in Pulwama.

“Australian government is concerned about relations between India and Pakistan following the horrific terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February, which Australia has condemned,” the statement said.

“Pak must take urgent action against terrorist groups in its territory, including JeM which claimed responsibility for 14 February bombing and LeT. It must do everything to implement its own proscription of JeM. It can't allow extremist groups to operate from its territory,” it added.

The statement further said that both India and Pakistan need to exercise restraint.

“Australia urges both sides to exercise restraint, avoid any action which would endanger peace and security in the region and engage in dialogue to ensure that these issues are resolved peacefully,” the statement said.

J&K Congress Congratulates IAF

The Jammu and Kashmir Congress congratulated the IAF for the "successful" air strikes across the Line of Control, asserting that the nation was "proud" of its armed forces.

"We congratulate the IAF for the successful pre-emptive air strike against terrorists camps in PoK. The nation feels proud of our armed forces," JKPCC Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said.

He saluted the valour of the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots and said that they deserved all the praise for their brave action.

"The nation is united against terror and to protect its sovereignty," he said, adding that the Union government must deal firmly with Pakistan sponsored terrorism.

PM, Jaitley Brief Vice President About Air Strikes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday briefed Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on the scale and effectiveness of the IAF's preemptive air strikes on terror camps run by Jaish-e-Mohammed across the Line of Control in Pakistan, sources said.

The Prime Minister spoke to Naidu over phone while the Finance Minister visited the Vice President's residence at Maulana Azad road in Lutyens' Delhi during lunch time and briefed him about the anti-terror air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force during the wee hours on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister also earlier briefed President Ram Nath Kovind about the air strikes.

Ceasefire Violated in Jammu & Kashmir

Pakistan violates ceasefire in Nowshera sector and Akhnoor sector of Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan also violated ceasefire in Krishna Ghati sector at 5:30 pm.

Pak Unhappy Over OIC Invite to India, Host UAE Snubs

UAE did not pay heed to Pakistan's concern over the invitation extended to India for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meet slated to be held next week

"I telephoned UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and expressed disappointment on the invitation of Indian foreign minister Swaraj to attend OIC. However, while discussing the matter with my UAE counterpart, he did not respond to it. Then I contacted Pakistan's ambassador to UAE (Moazzam Ahmad Khan) to discuss the matter with them, but still, there was no response," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, as quoted by ANI.

In a first, OIC invited India as a “Guest of Honour” last week for the inaugural plenary of its meeting of Foreign Ministers to be held on March.

Congress Hails Security Forces After All-Party Meet

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, speaking on the sidelines of an all party meet hailed the security forces over the air strikes conducted on Pakistan terror camps.

“We have appreciated the efforts by the forces, they always have our support to end terrorism. Another good thing is that it was a clean operation which specifically targeted terrorists and terror camps,” he said.

EU Urges India, Pak to Exercise Maximum Restraint

Maja Kocijancic, European Union Spokesperson said that India and Pakistan need to maintain maximum restraint.

“We're following very closely the current developments between India & Pakistan. We remain in contact with both countries and what we believe is essential, is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions,” he said.

Happy All Political Parties Supported Us: Sushma Swaraj

After the all party meet, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj says all parties supported and praised the government’s anti-terror operations.

“I am happy that all parties in one voice praised the security forces and supported the Govt's anti-terror operations,” she said.

In the meet, Swaraj reportedly informed the leaders that she spoke to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo over the Indian air strikes on JeM terror camps in Balakot.

India Briefs Foreign Envoys Over Air Strikes

India on Tuesday apprised the envoys of all major countries about its air strike on the Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) biggest terror training camp in Pakistan, official sources told PTI.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and and other Secretaries have been briefing foreign envoys, including from the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom.

It is learnt that Gokhale briefed the envoys of the P-5 countries.

Envoys of Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Turkey and Indonesia were also briefed about the air strike.

Owaisi Hails Air Strikes by India

AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi hailed Indian Air Force's strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed's terror camp in Pakistan and said the Indian defence forces should be prepared to tackle any retaliatory action.

"I was expecting this sort of response within 2 or 3 days after the Pulwama terror attack. I welcome this step... We stand with the government on this," Owaisi told reporters here.

He said, "I am sure that our Navy or Air Force are on alert, if Pakistan wants to take some stupid action (in response to the air strikes)".

Pulwama Martyr's Village Celebrates Air Strike

"I feel this action will give peace to the martyred soldiers," is how a Pulwama attack victim's wife reacted to India's air strikes killing a large number of terrorists and trainers of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan on Tuesday.

Kalavathi, whose husband H Guru from Karnataka was among the 40 CRPF jawans who died in the 14 February terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, is grieving her loss but said she is proud of the Indian armed forces.

Guru's native village Gudigere in Mandya distric burst into jubilation on hearing about the Indian Air Force's early morning attack on the terror camp. Villagers took out a march and a tricolour was unfurled atop his house as a mark of respect.

With tears in her eyes, Kalavathi told reporters: "I salute the Indian armed forces.I am happy with this action. I feel that this action will give peace to the martyred soldiers. I am proud of my Indian armed forces." Guru's father Honnaiah insisted that the time to give peace a chance was gone and "the anti-India forces should be completely destroyed".

Pak Retaliation Will Prove it Shelters Terrorists: Sharad Pawar

Any retaliation by Pakistan to India's air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed's terror camp in that country will prove that it provides shelter to terrorists, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said.

The former defence minister, talking to reporters, lauded the Indian Air Force for the strikes, adding India's defence forces have made citizens feel proud.

It would not be proper to politicise the air strikes, Pawar said. Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the IAF had carried out such strikes earlier also, but there was no politicisation (of the same).

"The credit always went to the Army. Now if the credit is being given to Prime Minister Modi, then credit should also be given to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat," he said.

Western Naval Command on High Alert Post Air Strikes

In the wake of IAF's preemptive air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan, the Western Naval Command in Mumbai is on a high alert and "fully prepared" to tackle any eventualities, an official told PTI.

The Mumbai Police are also on a high alert following the air strikes.

"After the air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan in the early hours on Tuesday, the security agencies have put the city on high alert," the official said.

"The Western Naval Command remains alert 24X7. Now, it is fully prepared to deal with any untoward situation in the wake of the air strikes in Pakistan," he said.

The Western Naval Command, headquartered in Mumbai, is one of the three formations of the Indian Navy.

RSS Congratulates Govt Over Air Strikes

The RSS congratulated the government and the Indian Air Force for air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan, saying they have translated into action the angry feelings of Indians following the Pulwama attack.

"The entire nation was agitated and angry in the wake of terror attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama. Today the Indian Air Force demolished JeM's Pakistan-based base camps' by precision air strikes. We congratulate the government of India and the Indian Air Force for exactly translating the the feelings and anger of millions of Indians," RSS general secretary Suresh Joshi said in a statement.

IAF Displayed Bravery Like Lord Hanuman: Sumitra Mahajan

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan praised the Air Force for the strike on a terror camp in Pakistan and equated the operation to the mythical tale of Lord Hanuman returning safely after setting Lanka ablaze, as mentioned in the epic Ramayan.

Mahajan also congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the strikes, saying the action sent a strong message to Pakistan that it should not look at India with evil eyes.

"Pawan putra Hanuman returned after torching Lanka. Our air force displayed bravery like Lord Hanuman. Now the entire country is confident of terrorism being eliminated," the MP from Indore said.

Pak Summons India's Acting High Commisioner

Pakistan summons India's acting High Commissioner and condemns "violation of its territorial sovereignty" by Indian jets, PTI reported quoting foreign office sources.

‘Wait For Our Response,’ Says Pak Army After India’s Air Strikes

Pakistan Army confirmed that Indian fighter jets dropped "four bombs" during an operation on Tuesday but downplayed its significance, saying the Indian attack was repulsed and while going back the aircraft "jettisoned their payload."

Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor also said Pakistan will "surprise" India with its response that will be in all domains including "diplomatic, political and military." "Prime Minister Imran Khan told the army and people that get ready for any eventuality. Now it is time for India to wait for our response. We have decided. Wait for it," Ghafoor said.

India Was Forced to Take This Step: VK Singh

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said that India was forced to take the step.

“India had made it clear that terrorism must be eradicated, we had given many chances to Pakistan, therefore, India was forced to take action so that these things can be stopped,” he said

Pak Boycotts Indian Cinema, Ads

Choudhary Fawad Hussain, Pakistan I&B Minister said that Cinema Exhibitors Association has boycotted Indian content. No Indian movie will be released in Pakistan. The ministry has also instructed PEMRA to act against made in India advertisements.

'Entire Country Should Celebrate Diwali Today': Amit Shah

Asserting that the families of martyred jawans must be feeling relieved, BJP chief Amit Shah on praised the Modi government after the Indian air strikes on a Jaish terrorist camp in Pakistan, saying the entire country is celebrating Diwali now.

Addressing BJP's Kamal Jyoti Sankalp Abhiyan in Ghazipur, Shah said the air strikes in Pakistan would have brought relief to the families of the soldiers killed in the Pulwama attack.

"You go to your homes and light a lamp with a pledge to re-elect Modi Ji," the BJP president said. "The entire country is celebrating Diwali after the air strike on terrorist camps."

Shah later visited the residence of a beneficiary of central government schemes and lighted a lamp, symbolising "development" brought to the poor under the Modi dispensation.

PM Modi Was Up All Night During Strikes: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was up all night as he monitored the Indian Air Force operation to destroy a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan, relaxing only after all the pilots returned safely home, government sources told PTI.

After congratulating all those involved in the operation around 4.30 am, he got busy with his daily routine as he prepared for a full day's schedule, including the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security at his residence around 10 am.

He then rushed to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, where President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015-2018. Later, Modi flew to Rajasthan for a rally and returned to New Delhi to attend an ISKCON event.

"The prime minister did not sleep a wink all night and remained intimately involved in the operations," said one source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Modi attended a News18 television channel conclave at the Taj Palace hotel on Monday night, and left for home at 9.15 pm. After reaching his 7 Lok Kalyan Marg residence in 10 minutes, he took a light meal and became involved in the operation, going through the preparations for the air strike on the training camp, the source said.

It is not clear if he was at home or at some other location where a control room monitored the historic events about to unfold.

The prime minister was in touch with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa before, during and after the operation, the source, who is close to the prime minister, said.

Once the operation ended, he checked with officials about the well-being of the pilots involved. the source said.

When it was clear everyone was safe, the prime minister withdrew and turned his attention to other matters, he said.

Army, Navy and Air Force Chiefs Brief PM Over Security Situation

Chiefs of the three armed forces met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to brief him on the security situation following IAF's air strike targeting a JeM terror camp inside Pakistan, PTI reported.

Sources said the chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force met the prime minister this evening to brief him on the security situation along the border.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of Pakistan threatening retaliation.

There, however, was no official word on what transpired in the nearly 30-minute-long meeting.

France Supports India's Fight Against Terrorism, Urges to Exercise Restraint

Acting spokesperson of France's Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said that it stands by India in its fight against terrorism and urged India and Pakistan to exercise restraint.

“France recognises India’s legitimacy to ensure its security against cross-border terrorism and asks Pakistan to put an end to the operations of terrorist groups established on its territory.

France,which stands by India in the fight against terrorism in all its forms,is fully engaged in mobilising international community to sanction terrorists responsible for this attack (Pulwama) and freezing their financing networks.

France calls on India and Pakistan to exercise restraint to avert any risk of military escalation and preserve strategic stability in region. Resumption of dialogue between Islamabad-New Delhi necessary to initiate peaceful settlement of differences.”

Swaraj Speaks to Foreign Ministers of China, Singapore, Bangladesh & Afghanistan

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to Foreign Ministers of China, Singapore, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan today, ANI reported quoting sources.

Closely Monitoring Developments in the Country: Election Commission

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is keeping a tab on developments in the country post the Pulwama terror attack and the government response to it in form of air strikes, a top poll panel official told PTI.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, speaking to reporters in Mumbai, said the ECI is duty-bound to carry out the mandate given to it by the Constitution.

Lavasa was replying to a query on whether the ECI's schedule for general elections would be affected after the 14 February Pulwama bombing and subsequent government response to it.

"The Election Commission does keep a watch on all the developments which take place. And we are duty-bound to carry out our mandate which has been given by the Constitution," Lavasa said.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Speaks to Pompeo Over Air Strikes

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Tuesday and apprised him about the Line of Control "violation" by the Indian jets, a media report said.

In his telephonic conversation with Pompeo, Qureshi said India is "jeopardising the peace in South Asia for its political purposes and elections", state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

He said that Pakistan is desirous of peace in the region, but will not compromise on its territorial integrity.

Qureshi told Pompeo that the Indian "aggression can disturb joint efforts to establish peace in Afghanistan" as he expressed hope that US will play its role in the region.

Martyred Major Chitresh Bisht's Father Welcomes Air Strikes

Father of Major Chitresh Bisht welcomed the air strikes by India. Bisht died in Pulwama a day after the attack while diffusing a IED.

Pulwama Martyrs Get a Proper 13th Day 'Shraadh' Ritual: Mohan Bhagwat

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that the jawans martyred in Pulwama on 14 Frbruary got a proper 13th day ‘shraadh’ after the air strikes on Pakistan.

Indian Army Destroys 5 Pak Posts in Retaliation Along LoC in J&K

The Indian Army destroyed five Pakistani posts along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday night in a befitting retaliation to firing from across the border, resulting in a "number of casualties" to Pak troops, a defence official said.

"The Indian Army retaliated for effect and our focused fire resulted in severe destruction to five posts and number of casualties to Pak army (along LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts)", the defence PRO said.

From 6:30 pm onwards, the Pakistani army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with heavy calibre weaponry along the LoC out of frustration, he said.

The Pak troops were also seen firing mortars and missiles from civilian houses, using villagers as human shields.

However, the Indian Army targeted the Pak posts away from civilian areas, the PRO said, adding that this resulted in a "number of casualties" to Pak troopers.

In exchange of fire, five soldiers of the Indian Army suffered minor injuries, out of which two of them were shifted to a military hospital for medical treatment; they are stable.

Power Supply of Certain Areas in 15 Corps Cantonment Switched off as Precautionary Measure: Officials

Power supply of certain areas in the strategically located 15 Corps Cantonment in Srinagar was switched off as a precautionary measure Tuesday night, officials said.

Some areas of the cantonment are located on Zaberwan hills and electric supply to this area was stopped in anticipation of a Pakistani retaliation to the pre-dawn strike by IAF jets on the biggest terrorist camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed inside Pakistan, they said.

In the meantime, Pakistan has suspended internet services in the entire occupied Kashmir area, security agencies said.

4 Civilians Dead, 11 Injured in POK During LoC Shelling: Reports

Leading Pakistan newspaper, Dawn, reports 4 civilians dead, 11 wounded in Pak-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) in Indian shelling across LoC.

Also Read : 4 Civilians Dead, 11 Injured in POK During LoC Shelling: Reports

UN Chief Following Situation Closely, Asks India, Pak to Exercise 'Maximum Restraint'

UN chief Antonio Guterres is following the situation between India and Pakistan "very closely" and has appealed to the governments of both nations to exercise "maximum restraint" to ensure the situation does not deteriorate further, a top UN official said on Tuesday, 26 February.

"He is obviously following the situation very closely and reiterates his urgent appeal to both the governments of India and the government of Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint to ensure that the situation does not further deteriorate," UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters when asked about the Secretary General's remarks on the air strike.

Dujarric said Guterres did not have any information on the possible casualties and has seen the news reports.

Guterres is returning to New York from Geneva and Dujarric said he had spoken to the UN chief about the situation between India and Pakistan before he boarded his plane.

Schools Closed, Exams Postponed in J&K's Rajouri

Government officials in Rajouri said schools within 5 km of the Line of Control will be closed and exams will be postponed due to the heightened tensions in the region, reported ANI.

Ceasefire Violation in Uri Sector of Baramulla

Ceasefire violation in Uri sector of Baramulla district, reported DD Jammu.

KEY EVENT

US Urges Pakistan to Take Action Against Terrorist Groups

A day after the Indian Air Force carried out air strikes across the Line of Control (LoC), US has urged Pakistan to take action against terrorist groups.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “I spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.”

Pakistani Jets Violate Indian Airspace, Drop Bombs on Way Out

Pakistani jets violated the Indian airspace on Wednesday, 27 February, and dropped bombs on the way out, a day after the Indian Air Force carried out air strikes across the Line of Control (LoC), reported PTI, quoting officials.

The jets entered border areas of Nowshera sector in J&K’s Rajouri district, the news agency added.

3 Pakistani Jets Entered Indian Airspace

At least three Pakistan combat jets entered Indian airspace, but the officials added that the planes went back after they were intercepted by the Indian Air Force, reported Reuters.

Airports in Jammu, Srinagar and Pathankot on High Alert

Airports in Leh, Jammu, Srinagar and Pathankot have been put on high alert. Civilian air traffic to and from Srinagar airport has been suspended, reported PTI.

Many commercial flights have been put on hold. Airspace has been suspended due to security reasons.

Pak Claims That It Shot Down Two Indian Aircraft in Pakistani Airspace

Pakistan Armed Forces spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor claimed on Twitter that the PAF shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace. He further claimed that they have arrested one Indian pilot.

KEY EVENT

Pakistani F-16 Jet Shot Down by India: Reports

Pakistan Air Force F-16 jet, that violated the Indian airspace on Wednesday, 27 February, has been shot down three kilometers within the Pakistan territory, reported ANI.

Pak Confirms Strikes Across LoC, Says Sole Purpose is to 'Demonstrate Our Right'

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has confirmed that Pakistan undertook strikes across the Line of Control (LoC), but within Pakistani airspace.

In an official statement, Qureshi said, “Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm.”

The statement further read, “If India is striking at so called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan.”

Two Dead As IAF Aircraft Crashes in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam

An IAF aircraft crashed near the Garend Kalan village in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam area, leaving at least two dead, news agencies reported on Wednesday, 27 February.

Shortly after the crash, Pakistan Armed Forces Chairperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, with one of them falling inside the Indian territory. An official IAF response on the crash is awaited at the moment.

Read the full story here.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh Holds High-Level Meeting

Home Minister Rajnath Singh hold a high-level meeting.

KEY EVENT

Flight Operations Suspended at Amritsar Airport

Flight operations have been suspended at the Amritsar airport following heightened tension between India and Pakistan.

Pak Stops Domestic and International Flight Operations

Pakistan has stopped its domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports.

China Reiterates Call for India, Pak to 'Exercise Restraint'

China has reiterated its call for India and Pakistan to ‘exercise restraint’.

2 IAF Jets Shot Down, One Pilot Arrested: Pak Reiterates Claim

Addressing a press conference in Pakistan, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that two IAF aircrafts crossed LoC.

“PAF took them on, both IAF aircraft were destroyed – one on our side, one on the other. We have nothing to do with the third crash that has taken place in Indian territory,” Ghafoor added.

He further claimed that two pilots were recovered and provided all necessary medical treatment.

News agency PTI reported that a video has been issued by the Pakistani Army in which an officer is heard saying “I am Wing Commander Abhinandan, I am an IAF officer. My service No is 27981.”

Entire Airspace, North of Delhi, Vacated

Entire airspace, north of Delhi, has been vacated, reported PTI.

KEY EVENT

Wing Commander Abhinandan Yet to Return: Reports

IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan who took off in a MiG 21 Bison jet today, is yet to return, reported ANI quoting sources.

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