‘Pulwama Attack Result of Impunity to JeM’: Sushma Swaraj in China
Sushma Swaraj was in China for the 16th Foreign Ministers’ meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC).
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday, 27 February, raised the recent Pulwama terror attack on the CRPF soldiers in her bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Wuzhen, a day after India destroyed a major terror training camp in Pakistan.
On Wednesday, Pakistani fighter jets violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Nowshera sectors, but were pushed back by Indian aircraft, dropping bombs while returning, officials cited by PTI said.
In the wake of fresh tension, China's Foreign Ministry reiterated its call for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, reported Reuters.
"I am visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India. It is the worst terrorist attack directed against our security forces in Jammu and Kashmir," Swaraj said in her opening remarks during the bilateral meeting with Wang Yi.
"The attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation," she added.
“Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder for the need of all the countries to show zero tolerance to terrorism and take decisive action against it.”Sushma Swaraj, as quoted by PTI
Sushma met her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during the 16th Foreign Ministers' meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Wuzhen.
Stating that the JeM is banned by the UN and other countries, Swaraj told Wang that “this terrorist attack is the direct result of the impunity and cover provided to the JeM and its leaders by the Pakistani side.”
“After the Pulwama attack, the entire UN has spoken with full voice to condemn it,” she said.
‘India Doesn’t Wish to See Further Escalation of Situation’
The External Affairs Minister asserted that the pre-dawn airstrikes were not a military operation, with no military installation being targeted.
“The objective was to act against terrorist infrastructure of JeM to pre-empt another terror attack in India. India doesn’t wish to see further escalation of situation. It’ll continue to act with responsibility and restraint.”Sushma Swaraj, as quoted by ANI
Swaraj further said that the operation was carried out in light of Pakistan refusing to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory, and based on credible information that JeM was planning other attacks in India.
On the India-China relationship, Swaraj said it is an "important relationship for both of our countries."
“We have made substantial progress in our relations since the informal summit between PM Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan in April 2018. It is important to both sides to ensure thorough and effective implementation of the guidance given by our leaders. Both sides have made good efforts in this regard and we should sustain this effort.”Sushma Swaraj, as quoted by ANI
RIC Ministers Agree on Closer Policy Coordination to Eradicate 'Breeding Grounds' of Terrorism
In the meeting, the RIC ministers also agreed on closer policy coordination to eradicate the "breeding grounds of terrorism".
"We agreed to jointly combat all forms of terrorism through closer policy coordination and practical cooperation. Especially important is to eradicate the breeding grounds of terrorism and extremism," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the end of the meeting, summing up the discussions on terrorism.
The mention of the "breeding grounds" of terrorism by Wang is being considered as significant as India justified its air strikes on Pakistan saying that they were directed against the terror camps of JeM in Balakot.
The Chinese foreign minister, however tried to cautiously tread the fine line by highlighting that Pakistan, which is a close ally of Beijing, is also opposed to terrorism.
"China, Russia and India have reaffirmed our strong opposition to terrorism in various forms and manifestations. At the same time, we believe that Pakistan has always been opposed to terrorism," he said at the joint press conference with Sushma Swaraj and Sergei Lavrov.
Elaborating on China's stand, Wang said "on the recent developments between India and Pakistan, China appreciates the statements from Indian and Pakistani friends saying that they will exercise and avoid escalation of the situation." He said China, for its part, is playing a constructive role as a "mutual friend".
The joint statement issued at the end of the RIC Ministers' meeting also spoke strongly against terrorism.
In the statement, the ministers called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)
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