Conflict

UN chief engaged in discussions ‘at different levels with different parties’ on Indo-Pak situation: UN spokesperson

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Srinagar: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gueterres is currently engaged in discussions “at different levels with different parties” on the matter between India and Pakistan, his Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Wednesday, as per an IANS report.

The spokesperson, as per the report, did not touch upon the identity of the parties or the levels of contact but said the discussions were “to make sure that we have, we get a full picture” of the situation.

“The message coming out of those discussions is on the need for both countries to do whatever they can to de-escalate the situation,” he was quoted as having said.

Guterres is “kept appraised of the situation” and is following it, Dujarric added, according to the report.

Inquired if the discussions were mediation efforts, he replied, in the report, “I have said what I have to say.” When pressed further, he said, “I’ll let you characterise it.”

He further restated that Guterres’s good offices were available if they were requested by both parties, the report said.

The development occurs after Wednesday saw a terse exchange between India and Pakistan, with the former stating that it had warded intruding Pakistani fighter jets in Kashmir, shooting down an F-16 that fell on the Pakistani-administered side, while an Indian MiG-21 was lost in action, while the latter claiming that it had shot down the plane, which crashed in its territory, and displayed an Indian Air Force pilot it had captured.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Foreign Secretary of India had said that they have ‘struck the biggest camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot in the pre-dawn ‘preemptive strikes across the Line of Control’.

“India struck the biggest camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot and a large number of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis planning terror strikes were eliminated,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said.

Gokhale had added that India’s “non-military preemptive action” was specifically targeted at the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp.

The outfit had claimed the responsibility of the Pulwama suicide bombing of February 14 in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed.

“Credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country and Fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose,” he had said.

“India has given proof many times seeking action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and others at terror camps so big, that they can train hundreds of jihadis and terrorists at any given time. But due to Pakistan’s inaction, this step was necessary and had to be taken,” he had said.

Earlier, India has said that they carried out a pre-dawn strike on a ‘militant camp’ across the Line of Control soon after Pakistan army said that Indian fighter jets were forced to leave after they crossed the LoC in Muzaffarabad sector.

According to reports, the strike was carried out at around 3:30 Tuesday morning by 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. The aircraft dropped, according to reports, ‘1,000 kg laser-guided bombs on a major militant camp across the Line of Control, completely destroying it’, news agency ANI reported, quoting Air Force sources.

Earlier, Pakistan Army claimed that the Indian military planes “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector but were forced to go back after Pakistan Air Force “immediately scrambled”.

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