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Don't want to see further escalation, says India at RIC meet in China

The RIC meet is chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and EAM Sushma Swaraj in attendance.  Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 27, 2019, 10.27 AM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

India on Wednesday said that it doesn't wish to see further escalation of current tension with Islamabad and added that airstrike on Pakistani territory was carried out as it refused to act on terrorist camps on its soil. 

Speaking at the RIC or Russia, India, China foreign ministers meet in Wuzhen, China, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, "Limited objective of pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of JeM in order to pre-emptive another terror attack in India. India does not wish to see further escalation of the situation. india will continue to act with responsibility and restraint."

JeM or Jaish-e-Mohammad is a Pakistan based terror group which owned up responsibility for Pulwama terror attack that killed more than 40 of India's paramilitary security personnel. 

Explaining the rationale behind India's stand, EAM said, "In the light of the continued refusal of Pakistan to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory and based on credible information that JeM is planning other attacks in various parts of India, Government of India decided to take pre-emptive action."

"The target was selected in order to avoid civilian casualties. This was not a military operation, no military installations were targeted," she added

The meet is chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and EAM Sushma Swaraj in attendance. 

She said," Following the Pulwama terrorist attack instead of acting against JeM and other terror groups based in Pakistan, it denied any knowledge of it and outrightly dismissed claims by JeM."

The visit by EAM to China comes a day after Indian strikes and New Delhi will be keen that Beijing pressure Islamabad to act on terror. China so far has been shielding listing of Masood Azhar, JeM's chief as an international terrorist under the UNSC 1267 committee. 

India has been trying to list Azhar as an international terrorist but China has thwarted Indian attempts citing lack of consensus. 

France will again propose listing of Azhar and is being backed by the United Kingdom. 

This is the first meeting between the Chinese and Indian ministers this year. Last year Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met 4 times.

Speaking on Sino-India ties at the RIC meet, EAM said, "channel of strategic communication between two of us and between the senior official of two sides should always remain open"

This year Chinese President will visit India for the 2nd informal summit between both the countries. The first happened last year in April in Wuhan.

The last RIC Foreign Ministerial Meeting took place in New Delhi on 11 December 2017 in the backdrop of Doklam crisis when Chinese forces tried to build a road on Bhutanese territory and the attempt was thwarted by Indian forces but led to a 2-month long standoff, the worst in many decades.

Informal RIC meet at the leaders level — Prime Minister Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping took place on 30 November last year on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. The meet took place after a gap of 12 years.

Story highlights

JeM or Jaish-e-Mohammad is a Pakistan based terror group which owned up responsibility for Pulwama terror attack that killed more than 40 of India's paramilitary security personnel