India risking regional peace for electoral gains, Pakistan tells US

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Islamabad, Feb 26 (IANS) Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that India is putting the regional peace and stability at risk in pursuit of its political and electoral targets.

In a phone conversation with Pompeo following the Indian Air Force’s strikes on terrorist training camps in Pakistan earlier on Tuesday, Qureshi told Pompeo that Indian “aggression was worthy of condemnation” and hoped that the US would play its role in the situation.

According to the Foreign Office (FO), the Foreign Minister apprised Pompeo about India’s LoC violations as well as the emotions of Pakistani government, parliament and the people, the Dawn reported.

“Pakistan desires regional peace and stability but we cannot compromise on our stability,” Qureshi told his American counterpart.

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He said that Islamabad had already informed the international community about New Delhi’s intentions following the Pulwama attack. However, he said Pakistan had adopted an “extremely responsible attitude” despite threats from India.

Twelve days after a JeM suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF troopers, India on early Tuesday struck the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) biggest training camp at Balakot, killing “a very large number” of terrorists and their trainers.

Foreign Secretary Vijay K. Gokhale told the media “in an intelligence-led operation in the early hours of Tuesday, IAF struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot.”

A large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jehadis being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. “This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), brother-in-law of (JeM leader) Masood Azhar,” he said.

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–IANS

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