News Updates

22 February - 28 February
  • Pakistan returned Indian pilot shot down over Kashmir in 'peace gesture'. Abhinandan Varthaman involved in the first publicly acknowledged dogfight between the countries in 48 years.
    Pakistan has returned an Indian pilot who had become the face of the worst military crisis between the two countries in decades, in a gesture aimed at demonstrating its willingness to de-escalate the conflict.
    Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was shot down during the first publicly acknowledged dogfight between the countries in 48 years on Wednesday, was returned to India at the Wagah border crossing in Punjab on Friday evening. (The Guardian, March 1, 2019)
  • Indian Jets Strike in Pakistan in Revenge for Kashmir Attack
    Indian warplanes conducted airstrikes in Pakistan on Pakistani officials said, in an escalation of tensions between the nuclear-armed nations after a suicide bombing against Indian troops in the disputed Kashmir region this month.
    It was the first time that Indian aircraft had crossed the Kashmir Line of Control to strike in decades. anger but minimize the risk of a major Pakistani military response.
    A spokesman for Pakistan’s armed forces, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, posted on Twitter four images of a forested area pockmarked with small craters and debris, which he said was the site of Indian airstrikes. (New York Times, Feb. 25, 2019)
  • 'Get ready for our surprise': Pakistan warns India it will respond to airstrikes
    Islamabad summoned India’s top diplomat in response to first attack across ceasefire line since 1971. Pakistan’s army has warned it will respond to India’s aerial bombing over the disputed border in Kashmir, telling Delhi: “It is your turn now to wait and get ready for our surprise.” (The Guardian, February, 26, 2019)
  • Pakistan captures Indian pilot after shooting down aircraft, escalating hostilities
    In the most ominous military confrontation between India and Pakistan since both tested nuclear weapons two decades ago, Pakistan said it shot down two Indian military aircraft over its territory and launched strikes in Indian-controlled Kashmir, while India claimed it shot down a Pakistani fighter jet in the “aerial encounter.” (The Washington Post, February 27, 2019)
  • Mike Pompeo urges India, Pakistan to 'avoid escalation at any cost'
    US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has urged India and Pakistan to avoid further escalation "at any cost" and to "prioritise direct communication".

    In a statement issued by his office in Washington following India's Line of Control (LoC) violation, Secretary Pompeo said that he spoke with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj hours after Indian fighter jets intruded from the Muzaffarabad sector and scrambled back after dropping bombs.(Dawn, February 27, 2019)
14 February - 21 February
  • UN chief calls for 'meaningful' engagement between India and Pakistan
    This is the second statement issued by the UN secretary general on the rising tensions between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of a suicide bombing attack in Pulwama district of Indian-occupied Kashmir. (Dawn, February 21, 2019)
  • 'It would be wonderful if Pakistan, India get along': Trump on Pulwama attack
    United States President Donald Trump has said that his government will comment on last week’s suicide bombing in Pulwama — that killed more than 40 Indian troops — at "an appropriate time". (Dawn, February 20, 2019)
  • Members of European Parliament ask India to stop atrocities in Kashmir
    An overwhelming majority of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) attending a landmark event on the rights situation in occupied Kashmir put their weight behind the recommendations of a United Nations report on the state of human rights in the valley, and called on India to immediately halt its atrocities in Kashmir, the Foreign Office said in a press release. (Dawn, February 20, 2019)
  • India decided to withdraw Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan after Pulwama attack
    India will initiate diplomatic steps to ensure “complete isolation” of Pakistan, says Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley following a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Dawn, February 15, 2019)
  • Soldiers will decide punishment for Pulwama perpetrators, says PM Modi
    “Our jawans will decide what, where, when and how the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack will be punished,” PM Modi said. (Hindustan Times, Feb 16, 2019)
  • China condemns Pulwama terror attack, says no to calling Masood Azhar global terrorist
    "We firmly oppose and strongly condemn all forms of terrorism. We hope relevant regional countries will cooperate to cope with the threat of terrorism and jointly uphold regional peace and stability," Geng said. (India Today, February 15, 2019)
  • Imports from India continue unabated
    As Pakistan’s exports to India face suspension after Pulwama attack on Feb 14, the trading and import of Indian goods, on the other hand, has so far been moving at normal pace. Some businessmen, however, want a “tit-for-tat action” from Pakistani government in view of up to 200 per cent duty imposed by India on import of Pakistani goods. (Dawn, February 21, 2019)
  • ICJ asked to dismiss India’s plea seeking spy’s acquittal
    “We have caught you,” a fervent Khawar Qureshi said as he warned India that it could no longer dismiss or “play fast and loose with the truth”, the second day of the four-day hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the Peace Palace. (Dawn, February 20, 2019)
01 February - 13 February
  • Pakistan in behind-the-scenes push to aid US-Taliban talks
    Pakistan has begun to play a behind-the-scenes but central role in supporting US peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, including by facilitating travel to negotiations, US officials and Taliban sources say. (Dawn, February 09, 2019)
  • Any agreement on Afghan crisis to address Pakistan’s equities: US
    The US military strategy for South Asia includes assuring Pak¬istan that its “equities” are acknowledged and addressed in any future agreement in Afghanistan, says a key American general. (Dawn, February 08, 2019)
  • Pakistan, India agree on team visits to reach Kartarpur deal
    After a bit of wrangling over the venue of talks on Kartarpur Corridor Accord, Pakistan and India finally agreed in principle on reciprocal visits of officials for negotiating and finalising the agreement with Pakistani delegation set to travel to Delhi on March 13 for initiating the process. (Dawn, February 08, 2019)
  • No axe to fall on defence budget, decides cabinet
    The government has decided not to make any cuts in the country’s defence budget, preferring instead to intend to increase it through the generation of more revenue.“The country’s defence budget is already low as compared to other states in the region, and therefore it should be increased,” said Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. (Dawn, February 08, 2019)
  • Pak HC for changing conflictual pattern of Pak-India relations.
    Pakistan High Commissioner to New Delhi, Sohail Mahmood stressed the importance of changing the conflictual pattern of the past Pak-India relations to a cooperative pattern in the future.In this context, he stressed the imperatives of sustained engagement, a result-oriented dialogue process, resolution of outstanding disputes, enhanced regional cooperation and collective endeavours for shared prosperity, a message reaching here from New Delhi said. (The Nation, February 13, 2019)