India stands firm, says ‘all options’ open to deal with terror strikes by Pakistan-based groups

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India stands firm, says 'all options' open to deal with terror strikes by Pakistan-based groups

New Delhi: Maintaining a strong stand on cross-border terrorism, India asserted that “all options” are available in case there is another terror strike by a group supported by Pakistan, official sources said on Tuesday. The Indian government will keep up the pressure on Pakistan to take concrete steps in dismantling terror infrastructure based on its soil.

Sources also said that India has shared with the United States of America (USA) the evidence of Pakistani Air Force (PAF) using F-16 jets during retaliatory air attack against Indian military targets on February 27, and was confident that the US is investigating the matter.

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Since the airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps in Balakot on February 26, India is trying to build maximum pressure on Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, sources said. The Indian defence forces have been maintaining a high alert and constant vigil on any misadventure from Pakistan.

Sources had said on Monday the Indian Air Force (IAF), too, has kept all its bases in the western sector on maximum alert after the strike in Balakot. Pakistan had attempted to retaliate by unsuccessfully targeting a number of military installations in Kashmir on February 27 but IAF jets intercepted and forced the PAF fighters to flee.

One PAF F-16 was shot down by an IAF MiG-21 Bison which too went down in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman captured. Under India’s pressure, Pakistan finally released Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on March 1 after keeping him in custody for more than 60 hours.

The IAF airstrikes, which the government had termed a “non-military” and “pre-emptive” action, followed a suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) convoy in Pulwama, Kashmir, in which 40 personnel were killed.

However, Pakistan is yet to take any concrete action against terror groups based on its soil. Several dreaded terrorists including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e-Taiba supremo Hafiz Muhammad Saeed are supported by the Pakistani army and its spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).