Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's response to Tuesday's dramatic escalation with nuclear armed rival India was to direct his armed forces and the public to “remain prepared for all eventualities.”
This after Pakistani officials confirmed that Indian fighter jets dropped "four bombs" in its sovereign territory while noting the Indian attack was repulsed and while going back the aircraft "jettisoned their payload" — implying the mission was cut short due to Pakistani defense efforts, according to the Times of India. "India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing," Khan's office saidsoon after the brazen violation of Pakistan's airspace.
“There will be some form of escalation,” Kamran Bokhari, an expert on Pakistani-Indian relations at the Center for Global Policy with the University of Ottawa told Bloomberg. “Pakistan will have to strike back — I am not saying this will lead to an all out war, but I don’t see that it’s over.” Indian Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs meanwhile praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his bold actions and underscored the military's preparedness to deal with "any possible retaliatory action" by Islamabad.
Tuesday's provocative cross border Indian jet raid was in retaliation for one of the deadliest terror attacks in the history of the long-running Kashmiri insurgency. Earlier this month, a Muslim ‘mujahidin’ drove a car loaded with explosives into a bus packed with Indian paramilitary soldiers, killing more than 40 in what became known as the Pulwama attack.
India has previously claimed Pakistan had a "direct hand" in the recent February 14 Pulwama bombing. "It is a well-known fact that Jaish-e-Mohammed and its leader Masood Azhar are based in Pakistan. These should be sufficient proof for Pakistan to take action," India's Foreign Ministry said in a Feb. 19 statement.
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