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Pak's refusal to act on terror groups forced India to carry out pre-emptive strike: Swaraj

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Wuzhen, Feb 27: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Wuzhen, China, on Wednesday during which she raised the Pulwama terrorist attack and emphasised that a decisive action is needed to tackle the menace of terrorism.

Sushma Swaraj is in China to attend a Russia-India-China (RIC) meeting. The meeting is between Swaraj and her counterparts from China and Russia - Wang Yi and Sergei Lavrov.

India-China bilateral meeting (Image - MEA/Twitter)

Speaking at the meeting, Swaraj asserted that all countries must show zero tolerance to terrorism.

"We are aware of the recent dastardly terrorist attack on our security forces in Pulwama perpetrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan based and supported terrorist organisation proscribed by UN and other countries. We lost over CRPF 40 personnel while several others are injured seriously," she said.

[Sushma Swaraj leaves for China; to hold meetings with foreign ministers of China, Russia]

"Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder for the need of all the countries to show zero tolerance to terrorism and take decisive action against it," the minister added.

The External Affairs Minister lashed out at Pakistan for not acting against JeM after Pulwama terror attack and accused Islamabad of ignoring the calls by the international community.

"Following the Pulwama terrorist attack instead of taking seriously the calls by international community to act against Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terror groups based in Pakistan, it denied any knowledge of the attack and outrightly dismissed claims by Jaish-e-Mohammed," she said.

Swaraj said India decided to 'take preemptive action' after Pakistan's continued refusal to act against terror groups. She said that the strikes were aimed only at the terrorists and 'no military installation was targeted'.

"In the light of continuing refusal of Pak to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory and based on credible info that JeM was planning other attacks in parts of India, the Government on India decided to take preemptive action and target was selected in order to avoid civilian casualties," she said.

"It was not a military operation, no military installation was targeted. Objective was to act against terrorist infrastructure of JeM to preempt another terror attack in India. India doesn't wish to see further escalation of situation. It will continue to act with responsibility and restraint," she added.

[Why the strike at Balakot KPK is extremely significant in the war against terror]

Swaraj said that India and China have made substantial progress in relations since the informal summit between PM Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan in April 2018. She said that India-China relation is an important relationship for both of our countries.

"It is important to both sides to ensure thorough and effective implementation of the guidance given by our leaders. Both sides have made good efforts in this regard and we should sustain this effort," Swaraj added.

Swaraj on Wednesday raised the recent Pulwama suicide attack on the CRPF soldiers in her bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, a day after India destroyed a major terror training camp in Pakistan.

"I am visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India. It is the worst terrorist attack directed against our security forces in Jammu and Kashmir," she said in her opening remarks during the meeting held on the side-lines of Russia, India, China Foreign Ministers meeting.

"The attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation,"she said. Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a suicide attack by Pakistan-based JeM in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14, sparking outrage in the country.

Following the incident, India bombed and destroyed JeM's biggest training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC) early Tuesday, killing a "very large number" of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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