The military phase of the strike back against Pakistan-based terror is over and efforts are now on to step up diplomatic pressure on Islamabad. A fresh initiative is on by the permanent members of UN Security Council to blacklist Jaish-e Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and India is directing all its efforts in that direction. Also, if there's another terrorist attack from Pakistan, all options are on the table, sources said.
The comments from sources came as Pakistan claimed that India has kept up its attempts to use force and that an Indian submarine had entered its waters.
Rubbishing Islamabad's claims, sources said Pakistan was trying to "deviate attention" by suggesting that India is continuing to threaten them. Pakistan's claim today that they shot down a Sukhoi, is a "total lie", a source said.
"India also reaching out to other countries outside UNSC... telling the international community if this is Naya Pakistan with a Naya Soch, we expect to see action," an official said. A "New Pakistan with a new ideology", was a phrase coined by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Under the diplomatic initiative, India has also shared evidence with the US on the AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles fired by Pakistan when a packet of its aircraft, including F16 fighter jets, had violated India's airspace. Pakistan had obtained the missiles from the US on condition that they would be used against terrorists, sources have said.
It is also evidence that Pakistan had indeed targeted India's military facilities, sources said. India has made it clear that its February 26 airstrike has been on the biggest Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot was "pre-emptive" and "non-military".
While giving chase to the Pakistani planes, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who shot down an F-16, had been captured. Sources also brushed away Pakistan's claim that they were releasing the pilot as a peace gesture. "Considerable pressure had been brought on them by the P5 nations," a source said.
Three of the P5 nations are supporting have taken up the initiative to blacklist Masood Azhar. With the deadline for objections being set at February 16, all eyes are on China, which has blocked India's efforts in this direction repeatedly.
Last week, Pakistan had admitted that Masood Azhar is in Pakistan. Masood Azhar is "unwell", so much that he "can't even leave his house", Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said in an interview to CNN. This was the first official acknowledgement of India's allegation that Masood Azhar operates from Pakistan.
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