External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj raised Pulwama terror attack issue during the bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart in Wuzhen on Tuesday. Swaraj, who will hold trilateral talks with China and Russia later today, said that the Pulwama terror attack is a grim reminder that there should be zero tolerance against terrorism and ‘decisive action’ is need of the hour. The meeting gains significance in the backdrop of the Indian Air Force’s air strike in Pakistan’s Balakot, in which major terror camp run by the Jaish-e-Mohammed was completely destroyed.
Swaraj extensively spoke about the surprise mission and said that, “It wasn't a military op, no military installation targeted. Objective was to act against terrorist infrastructure of JeM to pre-empt another terror attack in India. India doesn't wish to see further escalation of situation. It'll continue to act with responsibility and restraint.”
“In the light of continuing refusal of Pak to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory and based on credible info that JeM was planning other attacks in parts of India, Government of India decided to take pre-emptive action and target was selected in order to avoid civilian casualties,” Swaraj added.
Hitting out at Islamabad over non-action against terror groups operating on its soil, Swaraj said that, “Following the Pulwama terrorist attack instead of taking seriously the calls by international community to act against Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terror groups based in Pakistan, it denied any knowledge of the attack and outrightly dismissed claims by Jaish-e-Mohammed.”
The pre-dawn strike is for the first time in over four decades that the IAF has crossed the Line of Control and penetrated deep into Pakistan. This marks a paradigm shift in its security policy. From the European Union to Australia, almost all global powers have reacted on the unprecedented action by New Delhi. The fact that that tension between two nuclear powers can escalate to a different level, global powers have asked for restraint by both India and Pakistan. Significantly, France has said that it recognises India’s right of self-defence.
“France, which stands alongside India in the fight against terrorism in all its forms, is fully engaged in mobilising the international community to punish the terrorists responsible for this attack (Pulwama) and to block their financing networks,” the statement added.
France also asked India and Pakistan to exercise restraint to avert any risk of military escalation and to preserve strategic stability in the region. “The resumption of bilateral dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi is necessary in order to start peaceful settlement of differences,” it reads.