Amid tensions, Pak PM offers olive branch to India


India has said it expects "his immediate and safe return".

The United States, China and other world powers have urged restraint from the two nations as tensions escalate following tit-for-tat airstrikes in the wake of a suicide vehicle bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Feb 14.

Several airlines including Emirates and Qatar Airways, suspended flights to Pakistan yesterday, while others such as Singapore Airlines and British Airways were forced to reroute flights. The United States, China, New Zealand and Russian Federation have earlier requested the countries for no retaliation involving direct military action, but design a course plan involving dialogue. Indian Foreign Minsiter Sushma Swaraj now attending the Russia-India-China Meet in Wuzhen, China brought up the Phulwama issue and a decision for the proper implantation of the United Nation's Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to be taken.

Five videos were shot by Pakistani army and released on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as part of a psychological operation against the country, the officials said.

Today morning troops from India and Pakistan briefly exchanged fire in Poonch, a district in Indian-occupied Kashmir, according to a statement from the Indian army.

World powers have urged restraint between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours, who have fought two wars over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

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The latest escalation marks a sudden deterioration in relations between the two countries.

But this assumption always underestimated the extent to which India's policy of strategic restraint was a political choice made by successive governments led by the BJP's Atal Behari Vajpayee and the Congress party's Manmohan Singh from around 2000, and due to factors other than nuclear weapons.

"We must be careful of those Pakistani paid terrorists living in India". While this is usually in times of declared war, and India and Pakistan are now not in a state of war even if tensions are high, the third Geneva Convention states that it is applicable even during armed conflict.

Chairing a special consultative meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Indian aggressive designs for political purposes can jeopardize peace in the region. Musharraf seemed to change his thinking about the conflict after surviving an assassination attempt by splinter cells of JeM in 2003. "If India is striking at so called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan".

Pakistan's attempted attack on India's military installations was a mere "face saving exercise", former Army chief Gen V P Malik (Retd) said here Wednesday. As recently as November, Pakistan's leader Khan spoke of "mending ties" with India. If this escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's.

Flights from the Middle East and India were also affected.