Pakistan’s envoy to India meets PM Imran Khan

Geraldine Edwards
March 10, 2019

Pakistan yesterday intensified its crackdown against Islamist militants, with the government announcing it had taken control of 182 religious schools and detained more than 100 people as part of its push against banned groups.

Pakistan Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan has claimed that further action will be taken against the JeM terrorists if New Delhi provided evidence of the group's involvement in the attack to Islamabad.

A government official told AFP that security forces detained members of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which claimed responsibility for the February suicide attack, and United Nations -listed terrorist organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). The head of the military's media wing, confirmed that "Pakistan had no choice but to respond to India's attack but avoided hitting military targets or causing casualties in the air strike because they did not want to escalate the crisis".

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The Indian warplanes bombed Jabba Top, a hilly forest area near the northern town of Balakot, about 40 km from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Pointing out a tweet by a Pakistan Army spokesperson about the air strike, Modi said, "Is Pakistan stupid to do this (tweet)?"

In an opinion piece, the NYT's editorial board emphasised that although the Indo-Pak tensions have diffused, for now, the two countries' "nuclear arsenals mean unthinkable consequences are always possible".

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On March 5, Pakistan launched a crackdown against the JeM and other proscribed outfits, taking into "protective custody" Masood Azhar's brother Mufti Abdul Rauf, and son Hammad Azhar.

"Pakistan's soil will not be allowed to be used for terrorism", he was quoted as saying by Geo News. They stuck to the Pakistani government's position ever since the Indian attack on February 26 that no damage was caused to any buildings and there was no loss of life.

Pakistan's counter-terrorism agency says the government has outlawed 68 militant groups. "But Pakistan has rarely followed through on such promises". "The proposed neutral venue could be in any Arab country", said one official.

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As the global community expedites efforts to reduce India-Pakistan tensions, Islamabad's envoy in Washington Asad Majeed Khan has reached out to U.S. lawmakers to explain his country's positions.

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