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Imran Khan warns against escalation, invites PM Modi for talks; India, China, Russia condemn terrorism





Hours after a Indian and Pakistani air forces clashed along the Line of Control in the morning today (Wednesday, Feb 27), Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called for easing of tension saying an escalation of tension may spin things out of control.

Khan said the “sole purpose” to carry out strikes across LoC was to tell India that “if they can come here, we can go there too”. In his address to Pakistan, Khan said two Indian MIG 21s which “crossed the LoC” were shot down.

“From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom,” he said. Mentioning the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed when an explosives-laden vehicle crashed into a CRPF convoy on February 14, Khan said he “understands the grief” but “better sense must prevail” and the issue must be “settle(d) with talks.” Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility of the attack.

Khan invited Indian PM Narendra Modi to hold talks on terrorism in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack: “I am inviting you. We are ready. The Pulwama tragedy has hurt you and we are willing to hold talks on terrorism. But I want to say that better sense should prevail. We should hold talks and find a solution to the problem.”

“We offered peace to India after what happened in Pulwama. I understand the pain of the families. I have visited hospitals and seen the pain of people affected by violence. We offered India that we would investigate. We wanted to cooperate and were ready to do so. I feared that India would still take action, and I had, therefore, warned India against aggression,” he said.

The address came hours after fighting between the air forces of the two countries in Jammu and Kashmir. India has said that it shot down a Pakistani fighter jet but also lost one of its own jets and the pilot was missing in action.

Pakistan has claimed that it shot down two Indian jets in the fighting and has two pilots in its custody. Khan said Pakistan sent its air force only after ascertaining the damage on the Pakistani side in Indian air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror training camp in Pakistan Tuesday. He said Pakistan also ensured that there were no casualties or collateral damage in India in the strike Wednesday.

“This was just to let India know that we can also do this,” he said. “Two Indian MiGs crossed into Pakistan and we shot them down. The pilots are with us,” he said.

“The question is where do we go from here? It is very important we use our intelligence,” the Pakistani PM said.

Asserting that war is not a solution, Khan said, “If it (tensions between the two countries) escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in Modi’s”.

“All wars are miscalculated, and no one knows where they lead to. World War I was supposed to end in weeks, it took six years. Similarly, the war on terrorism was not supposed to last 17 years. If this escalates, where will it go from here? It will not be in my control or Narendra Modi’s control. I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford a miscalculation?” asked the Pak PM.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has said Pakistan had used its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side in response to India’s counter-terror operations against Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in a pre-dawn IAF strike in Balakot Tuesday. Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully, the MEA said, adding that one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by IAF.

Also Read: Indian Air Force repulses Pakistani jets, shoots down F16; says all IAF jets and pilots safe

The MEA later said India lost one MIG 21 and one pilot was “missing in action”, adding that it was “ascertaining Pakistan’s claims”. Earlier in the day, Pakistan claimed to have captured two IAF pilots. The Pakistan army had released a video in which the pilot is seen identifying himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. 

Statement by foreign inisters of India, China and Russia

In another development, India, China and Russia have said those responsible for “committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting terrorist acts” must be held accountable, as they urged the international community to strengthen the United Nations-led global counter-terrorism cooperation.

The statement came at the 16th meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) held today at Wuzhen, Zhejiang, China. It was attended by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

A joint statement issued after the meeting read: “The ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the FATF standards, international treaties, including on the basis of the principle ‘extradite or prosecute’ and relevant international and bilateral obligations and in compliance with applicable domestic legislation.

“The ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, while respecting sovereignty and independence of all states, and expeditiously finalising and adopting the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the earliest.”

Also ReadIAF chopper crashes in J&K’s Budgam, two pilots dead

Earlier in the morning, during her opening remarks, Swaraj sought to draw the attention of the members of RIC to the Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed and the attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

A day after the Indian Air Force struck a JeM terror camp in Balakot, Pakistan, Swaraj added that India does not want further escalation of tension with Pakistan, and said it would act with “responsibility and restraint”.

US asks for restraint

Amid the heightened tension, US has urged Pakistan and India to exercise restraint. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he has spoken to Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and urged the two nuclear-armed rivals to “avoid escalation at any cost”. Meanwhile, Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday raised the recent Pulwama suicide attack on CRPF soldiers in her bilateral meeting with Chinese counterpart Minister Wang Yi.

OIC meet

In its outreach to international community, while India has got an invitation to attend the meet of Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he had decided to boycott the OIC since his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj will be in attendance at the event.

“I have spoken to the United Arab Emirates foreign minister and have expressed my reservations over her invitation. I have made myself clear that India has shown aggression,” he said.

Also Read: India loses a Mig, pilot missing in action; Pakistan says he in their custody

The OIC is a grouping of 57 countries, most of whom are Muslim majority. It has usually been supportive of Pakistan and, often sided with Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.

Imran Khan also had a telephonic conversation with UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as well as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the development. On the request of Pakistan, the OIC summoned an emergency meeting of its Kashmir Contact Group at its General Secretariat in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The Contact Group expressed deep concern over the heightened tension and called for immediate de-escalation in the region, Pakistan Foreign Office said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest world news

Watch: PM Modi poses for selfie with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni at COP28 climate summit in Dubai

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni captioned the post Good friends at COP28 with the hashtag melodi.The post has got 5,63,598 likes on Instagram.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a moment of delight at the COP28 climate action summit in Dubai as he posed for a selfie with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The 46 year old Italian leader posted the selfie with PM Modi on her Instagram handle. She captioned the post Good friends at COP28 with the hashtag melodi.

The post has got 5,63,598 likes on Instagram. Large number of comments started coming on the social media post. One user said the world is one family. One user said this is the photo of the decade and there is so much power in this picture. Earlier PM Modi met Meloni on the sidelines of COP28.

He said India and Italy are looking for a sustainable and prosperous future. The two nations shared friendly relations when the Italian prime minister visited New Delhi for the G20 summit. She was warmly received by PM modi and she shook hands with him. Both the leaders burst into laughter after a brief conversation. PM Modi shared took to X (formerly Twitter) and said he had an excellent meeting with PM  Giorgia Meloni. He said their talks covered sectors such as trade, commerce, defence, emerging technologies.

The Italian Prime minister had also wished PM Modi on his 73rd birthday on September 17. She took to X(formerly Twitter) and wrote Happy Birthday Narendra Modi. A friend committed to building the future and proud of the history of great nation close to Italy. In March Meloni made her maiden visit to India and praised PM Modi. She said he is the most loved one of all leaders around the world.

The Italian prime minister’s visit coincided with the 75th anniversary of the bilateral relationship between the two countries. PM Modi warmly welcomed Meloni and congratulated her for becoming the first woman and youngest prime minister of Italy.

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India News

PM Modi proposes to host COP33 in India in 2028

The 28th conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC), refered as COP28, is currently taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.



Prime Minister Modi was addressing the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on Friday, he proposed hosting COP33 in India in 2028. PM Modi said  India is committed to UN framework for climate change process. That is why, from this stage, he proposed to host COP33 Summit in India in 2028.

The 28th conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC), refered as COP28, is currently taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.

As a special gesture by the UAE, PM Narendra Modi was given the honour of speaking at the Ceremonial opening of the summit, in which discussion will held on issues regarding climate change in the coming days. He said he announced one more pro planet, pro active and positive initiative- green credit initiative.

PM Modi said India’s goal is to bring down the emissions intensity by 45 % till 2030 and also said the country has decided to increase the share of non fossil fuel to 50%. He said India will keep going ahead towards the goal of net zero by 2070.

PM Modi will also attend three other high level events on the sidelines of the summit. Bilateral meetings with World Leaders like Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Israeli President Issac Herzog.

The COP28 conference brings together the heads of the state, climate activists, government ministers, scientists and other stake holders from all over the world so that discussion can take place and action can be taken on climate change. The key themes of the conference include slashing energy emissions before 2030 and fast tracking the energy transition, transforming climate finance, putting nature, lives, people and livelihood at the heart of climate action and mobilizing for more inclusive COP ever.

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Latest world news

US looks forward to seeing results, says Antony Blinken as India probes Pannu murder plot

White House spokesperson John Kirby earlier echoed Blinken’s remarks, but cushioned the statement by stressing the importance of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.



Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State on Thursday said that Washington takes very seriously the allegations that an Indian government official was involved in a foiled plot to murder Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil. Speaking to the media at Tel Aviv, the US top diplomat said that he couldn’t comment in detail on the matter as it was under judicial consideration, but welcomed the investigation launched by India into the alleged plot to kill Pannu.

He added that a number of them have raised this directly with the Indian government in past weeks. He mentioned that the Indian government announced that it was conducting an investigation, adding that it is good and appropriate, and that they look forward to seeing the results.

White House spokesperson John Kirby earlier echoed Blinken’s remarks, but cushioned the statement by stressing the importance of the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Addressing a press conference, he said that India remains a strategic partner, and they are going to continue to work to improve and strengthen that strategic partnership with India. He noted that at the same time, they take the aforesaid allegations and investigation very seriously.

John Kirby was responding to a question about the US Justice Department’s indictment of Indian citizen Nikhil Gupta, which accused him of working with an Indian government agency employee to hire a hitman to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US citizen and founder of the Khalistani outfit, Sikhs for Justice.

Kirby further acknowledged India’s responsiveness to the matter, stating that they are glad to see that India is also taking it seriously by announcing their own efforts to investigate this. He added that the US has been clear that they want to see anybody that’s responsible for these alleged crimes to be held properly accountable.

Meanwhile, India has already constituted an investigation team to probe the allegations relating to the foiled plot to kill Pannun. The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday described it as a matter of concern and also contrary to government policy the US linking an Indian official to the man charged with the alleged conspiracy.

As per reports, Nikhil Gupta, 52, has been charged with two counts of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire for allegedly participating in the Pannun murder plot. He can be sentenced to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, if convicted.

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