Foreign diplomats and journalists visit Jaba village near Balakot on Thursday. ISPR Twitter photo
Pakistan has escorted a group of foreign journalists and diplomats to the site of an Indian air strike to show that, contrary to Delhi's claims, no infrastructure was damaged, the military spokesman said.
The visiting group, which Major General Asif Ghafoor said was mostly based in Delhi, was shown observing a crater in Balakot in video published via Twitter late on Wednesday, on the eve of India's massive election.
The group saw the "ground realities" of the strike site, Ghafoor said in a caption accompanying the tweet.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has campaigned hard on what he claims is the success of the Feb.26 strike. Indian officials have claimed up to 250 militants were killed.
Pakistan has denied from the start that there was any damage or casualties, with Modi's counterpart Imran Khan framing it as an election ploy.
With the first phase of polls in India's massive election opening on Thursday, Modi has styled himself as India's "chowkidar" ("watchman"), and anyone even questioning the action against Pakistan is given short shrift.
But independent reporting by multiple local and international outlets who have visited the site found no evidence of a major terrorist training camp — or of any infrastructure damage at all.
An AFP reporter who visited just hours after the strike was carried out saw damage only to trees and one mud hut. Local residents have said no one was killed.
The Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab said that open-source satellite imagery indicated "only impacts in the wooded area, with no damage being visible to the surrounding structures."
The strike was in retaliation to a suicide bombing in Indian-held Kashmir on Feb.14 that was claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group.
It was followed by Pakistani air strikes which hit open space in Indian territory and ignited a dogfight in the skies over the disputed region of Kashmir, the worst confrontation between the nuclear-armed neighbours in years.
Pakistan said it shot down two Indian war planes, with one falling on the Indian side of the de facto Kashmir border. It captured the pilot of the other, releasing him days later in a bid to defuse tensions.
India says just one of its planes was shot down, and claimed that the second plane was a Pakistani F-16 shot down by the Indian air force.
Pakistan has denied that claim also, and Foreign Policy has reported that the US had done a count of all Pakistan's F-16s, with none missing.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday wrote a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi offering dialogue to reconcilable problems.
"While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far," the Pakistan's foreign office said,
Pakistan says Indian troops have targeted its military positions in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing three soldiers and wounding a fourth.
Dubai-based global developer Emaar will jointly implement with Beijing Daxing International Airport a Dhs40.5 billion (US$11 billion) project including the five square kilometre land area of the 50 sq. km airport.
No matter how tedious it is when teenagers are in that transformational stage, their elders and particularly their parents, should not give up on them.
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has launched ‘Sharjah Fun Fair’, month-long fun, exciting recreational, cultural, and educational activities at the Expo Centre Sharjah. Held alongside the Sharjah Summer Festival 2019 celebrations, the ongoing activities will run till Aug.17, forming part of the SCTDA’s efforts to develop the emirate’s tourism and other key sectors.
With summer in full swing, Emirates Post is reminding customers that it offers a range of services for those planning vacations so they can enjoy a hassle-free holiday. Customers can obtain an international driving licence and make payments for their US visa fees and for select airline tickets at their nearest branch.