India sent its front-line Mirage-2000 jets to strike terror targets at various location in Pakistan

India is seeking support from the international community to push Pakistan act on terror after facing repeated terror attacks coming from the north-western neighbour’s soil

by Nurul Islam Hasib

“This is not a bilateral issue for us. It’s a terror issue,” a senior official at India’s external affairs ministry told while discussing the ongoing crisis with Pakistan.

The latest crisis began on Feb 14 after a car bombing in Kashmir killed 44 Indian paramilitary officers, prompting India to carry out air strikes inside militants den inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed the responsibility of the terror attack in the Pulwama district of the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The same terror outfit in 2016 in an attack on an army base in Uri, also in Jammu and Kashmir, killed 19 soldiers and prompted India to carry out a retaliatory “surgical strike” on a JeM training camp.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has condemned the Feb 14 attack immediately from Berlin where she was on an official visit.

She once again vowed zero-tolerance for terrorism and extremism in any form.

“We admire the prime minister’s (Hasina) gesture. She was in fact the first leader who condemned the attack within hours from Berlin. We are together in the fight against terrorism,” the official who wished not to be named said.

“Pakistan has to take credible action,” he said, “Talks and terror cannot go together. We are requesting our friends and members of international community to put pressure on Pakistan.”

The official said after Feb 14’s attack they had “credible information” that more attacks were planned. “So our air force carried out a counter ‘non-military’ attack. It was targeted on the terrorists only. No civilians were involved.”

The official said the air force also conducted a “laser guided missile attack which was so precise that it destroyed everything inside the building without affecting the roof”.

The terror attack received wide condemnation from across the world. On the contrary, not a single country has denounced India's air strike against the terror camps inside Pakistani territory.

The core message was that Pakistan has to take very strong steps against terrorists such as JeM chief Masood Azhar. Pakistan also needs to act against terrorist camps on its soil.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval after the attack that America supports India's right to self-defence as both sides vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a safe heaven for JeM and other terror groups.

He said the US has been very clear to Pakistan on ending support to terrorists.

“We have been very clear on that score...And, we are continuing to be in discussions we are going to have with the Pakistanis,” the US NSA said in a telephonic conversation recently.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has asked Pakistan to end its support to terrorist safe havens inside the country.

“We stand with India as it confronts terrorism. Pakistan must not provide safe haven for terrorists to threaten international security,” Pompeo said on Twitter.

In a stern message to Pakistan, the White House has asked Islamabad to “immediately end” its “support” to all terror groups and not to provide “safe haven” to them.