India has said that it does not wish to see a further escalation of the current tensions with Islamabad and had to conduct air strikes on Pakistani territory since the country refused to act against terrorist camps in the country.
Speaking at Russia-India-China (RIC) meet in Wuzhen, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “Limited objective of pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of JeM in order to pre-emptive another terror attack in India. India does not wish to see a further escalation of the situation. india will continue to act with responsibility and restraint.”
JeM or Jaish-e-Mohammed is a Pakistan based terror group which took responsibility for Pulwama terror attack of February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 CRPF personnel.
Explaining the rationale of Indian strikes at the RIC meet, the EAM said, “In the light of the continued refusal of Pakistan to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory and based on credible information that JeM is planning other attacks in various parts of India, Govt of India decided to take pre-emptive action.”
“The largest and the target was selected in order to avoid civilian casualties. This was not a military operation, no military installations were targetted,” she added.
The meet is chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and EAM Sushma Swaraj both attended the meet.
She said, “Following the Pulwama terrorist attack instead of taking the calls by the international community to act against JeM and other terror groups based in Pakistan, Pakistan denied any knowledge of the attack and outrightly dismissed claims by JeM.”
The visit by EAM to China comes a day after IAF strikes. India is keen that Bejing puts pressure on Islamabad to act on terror. China so far has been shielding listing of Masood Azhar, JeM’s chief as an international terrorist under the UNSC 1267 committee.
India has been trying to list Azhar as an international terrorist but China has thwarted Indian attempts citing lack of consensus.
France will again propose listing of Azhar and is being backed by the United Kingdom.
This is the first meeting between the Chinese and Indian ministers this year. Last year Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met 4 times.
Speaking on Sino India ties at the RIC meet, EAM said, “channel of strategic communication between two of us and between the senior official of two sides should always remain open”
This year Chinese President will visit India for the 2nd informal summit between both the countries. The first happened last year in April in Wuhan.
The last RIC Foreign Ministerial Meeting took place in New Delhi on December 11 2017 in the backdrop of Doklam crisis when Chinese forces tried to build a road on Bhutanese territory and the attempt was thwarted by Indian forces which led to a 2-month long standoff, the worst in many decades.
Informal RIC meet at the leaders level — Prime Minister Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping took place on November 30 last year on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. The meet took place after a gap of 12 years.