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Pakistan's High Commissioner to India returns to his post in New Delhi

10 March 2019

Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Saturday said in a news briefing that Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria will return to Islamabad today.

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM exploded over 60 kg of RDX near a CRPF bus, killing more than 40 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.

Two intruding IAF jets were later downed by Pakistan and a pilot was captured. Pakistan had announced earlier in the week that its high commissioner to India was returning to New Delhi.

Asked whether it was right to say that the worst was over and de-escalation has taken place between the two neighbours, Kumar said at a media briefing on Saturday that India's airstrike on a terrorist training camp inside Pakistan on February 26 was "necessitated by the lack of action by Pakistan on the perpetrators of Pulwama attack".

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Kumar said a recent United Nations statement also called for "perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terrorism to be held accountable and brought to justice".

"Pakistan has failed to take any credible action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terrorist organisations, which continue to operate with impunity from Pakistan", he added.

"The widespread presence of terrorist camps in Pakistan is a public knowledge within and outside Pakistan", he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual National People's Congress legislative meetings, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared on Friday that India and Pakistan should "meet each other halfway" to defuse the crisis, portraying Beijing's role as a balancing act between its nuclear-armed neighbors, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports.

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said no militant group would be allowed to operate from Pakistani soil to carry out attacks overseas, days after his government announced a sweeping crackdown against Islamist militant organisations.

New Delhi has heavily criticised Islamabad's failure to rein in militant groups operating on Pakistani soil.

Asserting that India has the right to self-defence, the official told reporters that New Delhi by successfully carrying out strikes inside Pakistan "has been able to call the Pakistani bluff" on the nuclear front.

India claimed it targeted a JEM training camp, but Pakistan denies it, adding that it does not harbor any terrorist groups. Pakistan said the strike only damaged three trees in a forest.

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In what Islamabad described as retaliation to India's airstrike operation - prompted by the JEM terrorist attack on Valentine's Day - Islamabad shot down a warplane and detained the pilot last Wednesday. India said it lost only one aircraft.

Pakistan's High Commissioner to India returns to his post in New Delhi