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All options available if there is another terrorist strike: Official sources

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 05, 2019, 04.46 PM (IST)

Sources in the Indian government have said "all options will be available" if the country is hit by another terrorist strike. 

The sources told the news agency PTI that India will insist on "concrete steps" by Pakistan to dismantle terrorist infrastructure on its soil and that since Balakot, India has been "trying to build maximum pressure on Pakistan". 

India has by now carried out two surgical strikes on terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan. The first was in September 2016, 11 days after the terrorist attack on the Indian Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri in which 19 soldiers died. 

The second was on February 26, when Indian Mirage 2000 jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunwa province. 

The Balakot air strike had followed the suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Pulwama, Kashmir. At least 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives in the Pulwama attack. 

Twelve days later, India hit Balakot. 

Pakistan responded a day later by dropping bombs in Jammu's Rajouri district. The Indian Army said the bombs had been aimed at military installations but that they missed their targets. 

A dogfight ensued after Indian jets were scrambled to chase out the Pakistani planes.

India's Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's MiG-21 was shot down and he spent two nights in Pakistani custody before being released. Before being shot down himself, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was able to shoot down a Pakistani F-16. 

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said the Indian airman was returned as a "peace gesture" but tensions continue to run high between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours. 

On Monday, India shot down a Pakistani drone. On Tuesday, Pakistan said it had stopped an Indian submarine from entering its waters. 

The government sources said Tuesday that India has shared evidence (fragments of an AMRAAM missile) Pakistan used an F-16 in the dogfight Abhinandan was involved in. 

"We are confident US is investigating Pakistan using F-16 fighter jet against India," PTI quoted the sources as saying. 

Pakistan's use of the F-16 and the missile may violate its end-user agreement with the US since the American-supplied jets and missiles are reportedly supposed to be used only in counter-insurgency operations. 

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The sources added that India will insist on 'concrete steps' by Pakistan to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure on its soil and that since Balakot, India has been 'trying to build maximum pressure on Pakistan'.