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Kashmir feels Indo-Pak tension

Srinagar, Feb 26: Tension was palpable in Kashmir on Tuesday after Indian Air Force claimed that its fighter jets carried out “pre-emptive strikes inside Pakistan territory”.
Residents of Srinagar and other major towns in the valley could be seen discussing in small groups the fallout of the development.
“We hope that it ends here and there is no more escalation. If there is escalation in hostilities, it will be the people on either side of the Line of Control who will suffer the most,” Abdul Gani Dar (80), who has witnessed all wars between India and Pakistan, said.
Many residents, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah, took to social media to express their fears about the possibility of a full blown confrontation between the two nuclear powers.
“The problem now becomes PM Imran Khan’s commitment to his country – ‘Pakistan will not think about responding, Pakistan WILL respond’. What shape will response take? Where will response be? Will India have to respond to Pakistan’s response?” Abdullah wrote on his Twitter handle.
Residents of Kashmir had gone on a hoarding spree after the government launched a crackdown on separatists and Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir cadres last week.
The move was followed by the deployment of 100 additional companies of paramilitary forces in the valley.
Governor Satya Pal Malik had on Sunday allayed fears of the people, saying it was only an election-related exercise and there was no reason to panic.
In an apparent dig, Abdullah said the reports about an Indian Air Force C17 Globemaster III flying over Jammu and Kashmir was about election duty and had nothing to do with the air strikes in Pakistan.
“It’s sitting in Srinagar offloading paramilitary forces to deal with internal security & election duty. Has nothing to do with the airstrike in to Pakistan this morning,” the National Conference leader said.
Meanwhile, the officials said security forces have been asked to remain on alert as the NIA is carrying out raids on residences of some top separatist leaders and their sympathisers.
Security forces have been deployed in strength in vulnerable areas of the city as officials expect protests against the raids. (With inputs from PTI)

Army, other forces put on alert
Srinagar, Feb 26: Army and other government forces have been put on high alert on Tuesday after New Delhi said Indian Air Force (IAF) carried air strikes across LoC in Balakote as a retaliatory measure for the February 14 Pulwama attack.
Quoting an army officer, news agency GNS that instructions have been received by all government forces “to remain alert” against any possible attack till further orders.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale earlier in the day said that India had “struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakote.”
At a press briefing, he said, “In this operation, a very large number of JeM (militants), trainers, senior commanders and groups of ‘jihadis’ who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated.”
“Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary,” he said, adding, “In an intelligence-led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM (militants), trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, Chief of JeM.”
The Government of India, he said, is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of “terrorism”.
“Hence this non-military preemptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp. The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties. The facility is located in the thick forest on a hilltop far away from any civilian presence. As the strike has taken place only a short while ago, we are awaiting further details.”