09:12 pm: France asks Pakistan to put an end to terror groups breeding on its soil.
Acting spokesperson of France's Ministry of Europe & Foreign Affairs today said that France recognises India’s legitimacy to ensure its security against cross-border terrorism and asks Pakistan to put an end to the operations of terrorist groups established on its territory.
France, which stands by India in the fight against terrorism in all its forms, is fully engaged in mobilising international community to sanction terrorists responsible for this attack (Pulwama) and freezing their financing networks, the spokesperson said.
Furthermore, France called on India and Pakistan to exercise restraint to avert any risk of military escalation & preserve strategic stability in the region. Resumption of dialogue between Islamabad-New Delhi necessary to initiate a peaceful settlement of differences.
07:50 pm: Pakistan resorts to ceasefire violation in Rajouri
The Pakistan army violated ceasefire for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday shelling forward posts along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, prompting a befitting response from the Indian forces, officials said.
The Pakistani army violated ceasefire even as India conducted a major preemptive strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest camp early Tuesday to prevent suicide attacks being planned by the Pakistan-based terror group, killing a large number of terrorists and trainers.
Officials said the Pakistan army resorted to small arms firing along the LoC in Nowshera sector early Tuesday but there was no report of any casualty, officials said. The Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar shelling in the forward areas along LoC in Nowshera late Monday night as well, inviting strong retaliation from the Indian forces, they said.
07.15 PM: Pakistan rattled, Army spokesperson Asif Ghafoor loses cool
It has been a difficult day for Pakistan and its Army that is trying hard and desperate to do the damage control. While Pakistan Army has dismissed India’s air strikes on terror launch pads, its spokesperson lost its cool on national television while addressing a press conference.
In reply to question by a Pakistani reporter where he asked, “Don’t these monkeys (in a reference to India) need to be shut down?” Ghafoor said, “I will use your words. We will shut these monkeys down. And not the way they do it. Not through lies. We will do it and let the whole know.”
07:00 pm: Time for India to wait for response
The director general (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major Gen Asif Ghafoor in a press conference has said that India must now be ready to be surprised after the "violation on the Line of Control (LoC) earlier in the day."
"You [India] will never be able to surprise us — and you didn't; we were ready, we responded," Dawn quotes Gen Asif Ghafoor.
Pakistan also plans to take journalists at the spot of the strikes.
"I called you [journalists] so I could take you there [to the site] and show you on ground reality but unfortunately, I cannot take you by air due to rough weather,” General Ghafoor was quoted as saying by the Dawn.
"But the local media is there and have shown that there was not even a single brick there. They are claiming that they killed 350 terrorists; I say even if they had killed 10, what about their bodies, their funerals, their blood [...] the spot is open for anybody and everybody: for ambassadors, defence attaches, UN military observer group in Pakistan,” he added.
06:00 pm: India holds all-party meet
India today held an all party meeting at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also informed the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo over the Indian air strikes on JeM terror camps.
Sources: In the all party meeting today EAM Sushma Swaraj informed the leaders that she spoke to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo over the Indian air strikes on JeM terror camps in #Balakot (file pic) pic.twitter.com/C881EEq9m6— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Latest Update: European Union urges restrain
Maja Kocijancic, European Union Spokesperson: We're following very closely the current developments between India & Pakistan. We remain in contact with both countries & what we believe is essential, is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions.
Maja Kocijancic, European Union Spokesperson: We're following very closely the current developments between India & Pakistan. We remain in contact with both countries & what we believe is essential, is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions. pic.twitter.com/C4BTaDg5wJ— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Latest Updates: Congress appreciates IAF effort
Ghulam Nabi Azad, after all-party meet: We have appreciated the efforts by the forces, they always have our support to end terrorism. Another good thing is that it was a clean operation which specifically targeted terrorists and terror camps.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress after all-party meet: We have appreciated the efforts by the forces, they always have our support to end terrorism. Another good thing is that it was a clean operation which specifically targeted terrorists and terror camps. pic.twitter.com/iZ4r5BMGD9— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Latest Update: China urges restraint from both Pakistan, India
China is calling for restraint from both Islamabad and New Delhi to prevent a larger crisis.
According to AP, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that it was "conducive to peace and stability in South Asian for the two sides to maintain a good relationship and good communication."
Lu says China hopes "both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and take actions that will help stabilize the situation in the region and help to improve mutual relations."
Referring to India's claim that its airstrike targeted terrorists, Lu said combatting terrorism "is a global issue and a global challenge. It requires cooperation between countries."
Latest Updates: Will not let the country bow down, says PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his country is in "safe hands," hours after India carried out an airstrike inside Pakistani-controlled territory.
Modi, commenting on the early Tuesday strike, says that "today is a day to pay homage to India's brave hearts," - an apparent reference to 40 Indian soldiers killed in Feb. 14 suicide bombing in India-controlled Kashmir.
Modi spoke to a rally of former soldiers in the northern state of Rajasthan.
He says: "I vow that I will not let the country bow down."
12:50 pm: Latest Updates: Pakistan President, Arif Alvi: India created hysteria, rhetoric can lead to war
Pakistan's President Arif Alvi says India has created "hysteria" in the wake of this month's attack on Indian troops in the disputed Kashmir region.
Addressing an international conference on media and conflict, Alvi on Tuesday warned that rhetoric "can lead to war." He did not address an overnight incursion by Indian fighter jets. India says the jets struck a terrorist training camp, killing a large number of militants. Pakistan says there were no casualties.
Earlier, Twelve days after a JeM suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF troopers, India on early Tuesday struck the Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) biggest training camp at Balakot killing "a very large number" of terrorists and their trainers. Within hours, Pakistan threatened a "befitting response".
While the Pakistani military claimed the area hit by India was close to the Line of Control (LoC), Reuters described Balakot as a town in a remote valley in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. There is also Balakote -- as different from Balakot -- in the Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
As celebrations erupted across India, Foreign Secretary Vijay K. Gokhale told the media that "in an intelligence-led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jehadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated.
"This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), the brother-in-law of (JeM leader) Masood Azhar."
Pakistan admitted that the IAF planes struck Balakot but claimed that they returned when it scrambled its war planes and that there were no losses on the ground.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the Indian jets were forced to return "owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force" and warned that Islamabad has "the right to self-defence and (give) a befitting response".