Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 25 April 2019

Pakistan says India is preparing another attack in Kashmir

Pakistan's foreign minister said another breach of the Line of Control will come this month

Indian army and paramilitary soldiers stand guard as an Indian Army convoy crosses the national highway on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. EPA
Indian army and paramilitary soldiers stand guard as an Indian Army convoy crosses the national highway on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. EPA

India is planning another military operation in Kashmir this month, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday as its neighbour prepares for a general election this week.

The warning comes as tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours appears to have cooled following a rapid escalation in February.

Mr Qureshi said Pakistan had raised its concerns with the UN Security Council.

"We have reliable intelligence that India is planning a new attack on Pakistan. As per our information this could take place between April 16 and 20," he said.

Mr Qureshi did not elaborate on the nature of the attack or the intelligence but said Prime Minister Imran Khan had agreed to share the information.

The two states came to a dramatic confrontation earlier this year after India retaliated to a car bomb that killed 44 paramilitary troops on February 14.

On February 26, India said they struck a training camp of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group who claimed responsibility for the car bomb, breaching the Kashmiri Line of Control (LOC) with an aerial assault.

The following day, Pakistan also flew over the LOC with their jets, a move matched by India the same day. Two Indian jets were shot down, one pilot was captured but later released.

Pakistan's Ministry of External Affairs said there were two more ceasefire violations on April 1 and 2.

Both sides sought to control the political narrative surrounding the attacks.

Some in India said between 200 and 300 people were killed in the strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed. Satellite imagery and reports from the ground have contested these claims. A Pakistan foreign ministry report on evidence provided by India raised further doubts about the veracity of the intelligence.

India also said they shot down a Pakistan F-16 fighter jet which crossed the LOC during the February 27 escalation. Mr Khan contested this on Saturday, citing US defence officials saying Pakistan was not missing any of the US-made planes from their fleet and accused India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of using the conflict to win elections.

Indians will vote in the first of seven rounds of parliamentary elections on Thursday, which will continue until May 19.

Last week, Facebook removed about 100 pages they said were controlled by the public relations arm of Pakistan's army for "co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour". Many of these pages were aimed at campaigning against Indian control of the disputed region. One page was called "Kashmir for Kashmiris".

Facebook also removed pages from both of India's main parties.

Updated: April 7, 2019 05:06 PM

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