New Delhi: Pakistan on Wednesday launched strikes across the Line of Control in Kashmir aimed at demonstrating its will to respond to Indian strikes on its territory a day earlier, a Pakistani foreign office statement said.
This comes amid news reports in India that at least three Pakistani Air Force jets had violated Indian airspace in Kashmir and civilian air traffic from Srinagar, Jammu and Leh airports had been suspended.
New Delhi was yet to respond to the reports.
The Pakistani action “was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at non-military targets, avoiding human loss and collateral damage," the statement said.
The “sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self-defence. We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm," it said, adding that the Pakistani action was done in broad daylight as a clear warning to India.
“For the last few years, India has been trying to establish what they call ‘a new normal’ a thinly veiled term for acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day," the Pakistani statement said.
“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," it said.
Stating that Pakistan did not want to escalate tension, it added that Islamabad hoped that “India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation".