PM Imran Khan to visit Tharparkar today

IAF Air Strike Pakistan files FIR against IAF pilots for bombing trees in Balakot

IAF Air Strike Pakistan files FIR against IAF pilots for bombing trees in Balakot

At the congressional hearing, Gen Votel who, as CENTCOM commander, supervises Washington's military strategy for the Pak-Afghan region, said the USA security assistance to Pakistan remained suspended, but some military cooperation activities continued, demonstrating "the importance of military cooperation, despite challenges in the bilateral relationship".

On 26 February, in a pre-dawn air raid, Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter planes swooped down on alleged terrorist hideouts in Balakot, Pakistan, prompting the latter to retaliate with an air raid on India-administered Kashmir the very next day.

"The next confrontation might not end so calmly", it added.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which supports secession from India, claimed responsibility for the attack.

This increased already fragile tensions between the waring nations, which escalated last week when the Pakistan military shot down two Indian warplanes that had travelled into the Kashmire airspace.

"Initial inputs indicate the likely cause of accident as bird hit after take-off", the Indian Air Force said in a statement.

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Pakistan captured one Indian pilot, releasing him on Friday in a bid to pull both countries back from the brink, though tensions remain high. "If Pakistan plays a positive role in achieving a settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan, the United States will have opportunity and motive to help Pakistan fulfil that role, as peace in the region is the most important mutual priority for the United States and Pakistan", he said.

The article stated that Islamabad and New Delhi were "long among the world's most antagonistic neighbours" and that it was fortunate they found "the good sense to de-escalate". "While it is on America's list of terrorist organisations and is formally banned in Pakistan, the group has been protected and armed by the Pakistani intelligence service".

"Adding to the volatility, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is waging a tough re-election campaign in which he has used anti-Pakistan talk to fuel Hindu nationalism", it said.

Authorities in Pakistan said Thursday that a nationwide counter-extremism effort has brought under government control 216 religious seminaries and educational institutions run by outlawed Islamist groups.

Days after his government announced a sweeping crackdown on terror outfits, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said no terror group would be allowed to operate on Pakistan soil to carry out attacks overseas. "But Pakistan has rarely followed through on such promises".

The NYT said that without worldwide pressure, a long-term solution was "unlikely and the threat of nuclear war remained".

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