Balakot residents thought earthquake jolted them
Islamabad, Feb 26: Residents in the quake-prone Balakot town in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province Tuesday said they were woken by “loud explosions” and thought a fresh tremor must have hit the region when Indian Air Force jets pounded a large militant “training camp”.
Balakot town in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was destroyed during the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and was rebuilt with assistance from Saudi Arabia.
Residents in the mountainous area town told BBC Urdu they were woken by loud explosions.
Residents in several towns near Balakot reported hearing explosions early on Tuesday.
Mohammad Adil, a farmer in Jaba village, said he and his family were woken at about 03:00 by “a huge explosion”.
He said they thought an earth quake must have hit the region.
“Then we heard jets flying over. We went to the place in the morning. There was a huge crater and four or five houses were destroyed,” he said.
Pak summons India’s envoy
Islamabad, Feb 26: Pakistan on Tuesday summoned India’s acting High Commissioner here and condemned the “violation of its territorial sovereignty” by Indian fighter jets.
In a statement, the Foreign Office said that at “approximately 02:54 hours (local time), 8 Indian aircraft were effectively intercepted by the Pakistani Air Force jets and forced” to return.
The Indian jets “randomly released their ordinance which landed in an uninhabited remote area,” it added.
“The Acting Foreign Secretary summoned the Indian Acting High Commissioner and strongly condemned the Indian violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said.
It said that the “baseless, reprehensible Indian claims of targeting a large terrorist camp and resultant causalities to placate Indian domestic audience and electioneering were strongly rebutted.”
The Acting Foreign Secretary categorically stated that Indian “aggression was a threat to regional peace and stability and would get a befitting response by Pakistan at a time and place of its choosing.”
The official also condemned the “baseless” Indian allegations against Pakistan’s involvement in the Pulwama suicide attack.