India says doesn’t want ‘further escalation’ after Pakistan air strikes

Indian soldiers gesture near the remains of an Indian Air Force aircraft after it crashed in Budgam district, some 30 km from Srinagar on Feb. 27, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 27 February 2019

India says doesn’t want ‘further escalation’ after Pakistan air strikes

  • “No military installations were targeted” in the air raid, Says Sushma Swaraj
  • Pakistan denied India’s claim that the attack had inflicted major damage and casualties

WUZHEN, China: India wants to avoid any “further escalation of the situation” after conducting “pre-emptive” air strikes against militant camps in Pakistani territory, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday.
The incursion across the cease-fire line that divides Kashmir came after New Delhi threatened retaliation over the February 14 suicide bombing that killed 40 Indian troops, and was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group.
Swaraj stressed during talks in China with her counterparts from Beijing and Moscow that “no military installations were targeted” in the air raid, and the target was selected to avoid civilian casualties.
She said the decision was taken “in the light of the continuing refusal of Pakistan to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory, and based on credible information that Jaish-e-Mohammed was planning other attacks in... (India).”
“The limited objective of that pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of Jaish-e-Mohammed in order to pre-empt another terror attack in India,” Swaraj added.
“India does not wish to see further escalation of this situation. India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint.”
Pakistan denied India’s claim that the attack had inflicted major damage and casualties on militants, calling it “reckless and fictitious” and vowing a response in due course.
The operation is India’s first use of air power on Pakistani soil since the two went to war in 1971.


Pakistan ranks ninth on CPJ’s 2020 Global Impunity Index 

Updated 29 min 14 sec ago

Pakistan ranks ninth on CPJ’s 2020 Global Impunity Index 

  • The annual index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free
  • The ranking is: Somalia, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Philippines, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Russia, India

ISLAMABAD: The Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked Pakistan number nine on its annual Global Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free. 

The ranking is: Somalia, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Philippines, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Russia, India.

Each year the CPJ index includes more stable countries where criminal and political groups, politicians, business leaders, and other powerful actors resort to violence to silence critical and investigative journalists. 

“CPJ has found that corruption, weak institutions, and lack of political will to pursue robust investigations are all factors behind impunity in these countries, which include Pakistan, Mexico, and the Philippines,” the watchdog said on its website. 

In Pakistan, a verdict in the Daniel Pearl case this year showed that “even murder cases that were long thought to be resolved can be upended,” the watchdog said. 

On April 2, the Sindh High Court overturned the murder convictions of four men accused in the 2002 killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The decision found Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had previously been sentenced to death, guilty only of kidnapping Pearl and reduced his sentence to seven years, which he has already served. The Pearl family and the Sindh provincial government appealed, and according to news reports, the four men remained imprisoned at the end of September.

Freeing the men “would be a devastating setback for justice that would also send a dangerous message to Jihadi militants in Pakistan and around the world, who have systematically targeted journalists in the 18 years since Pearl was killed,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Pakistan and the Philippines have been mainstays on the Global Impunity Index since its inception in 2008. The Philippines is the biggest mover in this year’s rankings, improving from the fifth worst country worldwide to the seventh worst.