14 IAF fighter jets destroyed Masood Azhar's madrasa, admits Pakistan rail minister

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 01 March 2019, 12:07 AM
Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid (Photo: Twitter)
Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid (Photo: Twitter)

While addressing the joint session of Pakistani parliament, Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid on Thursday admitted that '14 Indian fighter jets' had entered Pakistan's air space and destroyed madrasa's run by Azhar Sahab (JeM chief Masood Azhar).

Earlier, Pakistan had dismissed India's claims about a successful IAF raid on JeM terror camp in Balakot on February 26. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that he is ready for talks with India on all issues including terrorism, maintaining that dialogue is the "only way" for peace and stability in the region.

Chairing a Cabinet meeting, Khan briefed the members about the latest developments in the Indo-Pak relations following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 and subsequent aerial engagement by the two countries' fighter jets.

"Dialogue is the only way for peace and stability in the region," Khan said. "I had made an offer to India to investigate the Pulwama attack and hold dialogue on bilateral issues. "Pakistan is ready for talks with India on all issues including terrorism," Geo news quoted Khan as telling Cabinet members.

India on Thursday told Pakistan that it has to take concrete steps against the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group before they could engage in talks.

A 12-point agenda, including the current security situation, was discussed during the meeting and the ministers of foreign affairs and defence briefed the Cabinet on the Indian "aggression", sources said.

The report quoted Khan as saying that he "tried to call Modi last night" (Wednesday).

Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Khan is ready to talk to his Indian counterpart Modi over the telephone to offer him peace.

Qureshi told Geo News that if India gives priority to peace, Pakistan is ready for peace. "Prime Minister Imran Khan is ready to talk to Narendra Modi on the telephone and ready to extend an invitation of peace. Is Modi ready?" he asked.

"We are ready for every eventuality. If they give priority to peace, we are ready for peace. If they prioritise dialogue, we are ready for dialogue," the Foreign Minister said.

Qureshi also confirmed the receipt of India's dossier on the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed in an attack claimed by Pakistan-based terror group JeM.

"Let's talk together on the basis of the dossier. I am ready to talk. You want to talk about terrorism, I am ready. You want to talk about peace, I am ready. You want to make it a common challenge, I am ready," he said.

India carried out air strikes against the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In the operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for suicide attacks were eliminated. The facility at Balakot was headed by Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of the JeM chief.

Pakistan on Wednesday claimed it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space and arrested a pilot. Later, Prime Minister Khan said that Pakistan will release the pilot as a goodwill gesture.

First Published: Friday, March 01, 2019 12:07 AM
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