The airstrikes came just a day after the Indian Air Force carried out an airstrike against a camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad group, considered terrorist by India, which was located across the LoC. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry has slammed the airstrike as a violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
This incident followed the February 14 attack, in which a car carrying over 100 pounds of explosives was detonated on a highway next to a security convoy in the Pulwama district of the Jammu and Kashmir state, killing 45 Indian paramilitary officers.
Sputnik spoke about increasing tensions between India and Pakistan with Muhammad Amir Rana, Director of the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) in Islamabad.
Sputnik: India’s Foreign Ministry said that the airstrike was absolutely necessary due to what it said was Pakistan's inability to destroy terrorist facilities. Was this violation of Pakistani aerospace justified in your opinion?
Muhammad Amir Rana: Absolutely not; this violation is not justified in any way, because it’s not violated the disputed line of control but this time the Indian aircrafts have gone deep inside Pakistan according to their claim that they had hit Daesh camps there, but so far local media and local people are coming with a counter argument and they say that there was a strike last night but there was no site there. So it was an empty piece of land where this strike has been managed. So the issue right now is that tension is increasing right now between two nuclear-armed neighbours. The Prime Minister held a meeting with the Cabinet and the Prime Security Committee and they have decided not only to take up this issue on the international, diplomatic level, but also ordered the security forces to get prepared for an equal level of response from Pakistan.
Obviously, this is a very critical situation, and the response we were anticipating should come from the international community, mainly from the US. We haven’t seen any proper reaction on this incident. I think this is the time that the international community should come in, intervene and de-escalate the situation. Otherwise, the media in India and the public sentiments are basically been nurtured and they are provoking this situation here in this region. I think it is not going to benefit either country, either India or Pakistan, in any way. So this is, I think, a really delicate situation in the region is right now, especially in the context where there was a bright prospect for peace and reconciliation and this is happening when India-Pakistan tension has started. Of course, it will disturb the total peace processes and all the regional achievement that has been made recently, but this is not a good sign for regional peace nor for global peace.
Sputnik: Pakistan rejected India’s claim that it killed many militants in an airstrike, branding it self-serving and reckless. What do you make of the statement?
The issue is not 'is it true or not', but the issue is the tension which has been triggered and the situation is getting aggravated between the two countries. If Pakistan responded with an equal level of military response, ultimately it could trigger full-scale tension, and I think this is the worst case scenario we have to avoid. The leadership in India especially has to respond equally. […] As I mentioned, this is the time for the international community to come forward and to intervene, the United Nations, the United States, Moscow, I think they should intervene in this situation. China also has influence in this region. The situation is moving towards a very critical phase, so we have to avoid it and this is quite strange; we haven’t seen any response from the international community yet.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.