More than 40 Indian troops were killed in an attack on February 14 by Pakistani rebel group Jaish-E-Mohammad. Yesterday, India responded to the attack and launched air strikes against militants on Pakistani territory. The recent attacks have led to increased tensions between the already strained nations.
How the air strikes could provoke World War 3
India has accused Pakistan of allowing military groups to operate on its territory.
The air strikes made by India targeted a training camp of the JeM group in Balakot, an area in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The strikes are the first launched across the line of control – the de facto border that divides India-administered Kashmir from Pakistan-administered Kashmir – since a war between the two countries in 1971.
READ MORE: Pakistan vs India allies and enemies: What countries support India? Who supports Pakistan?
Both the nations claim all of Kashmir, but only control parts of it.
Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told a news conference the strikes had killed a “large number” of militants, but had avoided civilian casualties.
Mr Gokhale said: ”Credible intel was received that JeM was planning more suicide attacks in India.
“In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary.”
READ MORE: India ERUPTS: Kashmiri protesters clash with police as Modi supporters BURN Pakistan flag
Pakistan, however, downplayed Tuesday’s incident, saying Indian aircraft violated Pakistani airspace and that Indian jets “released a payload” hastily in a forest area after crossing the line of control.
Fears of World War 3 are now rising with the increased tensions between Pakistan and India.
Both countries have ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, India has nine types of operational missiles, including the Agni-3.
In 2018, India spent four trillion rupees (£43,77billion), or just over two percent of its gross domestic product, to support its 1.4 million active troops.
CSIS also said Pakistan’s missile programme, which is built with help from China, includes mobile short- and medium-range weapons that can reach any part of India.
Pakistan spent 1.26 trillion Pakistani rupees ($8,3billion), about 3.6 percent of its GDP, on its 653,800 troops.
Numbers estimated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) also showed that between 1993 and 2006, more than 20 percent of Pakistan’s annual government expenditure was spent of the military.
By comparison, India’s expenditure remained under 12 percent during the same period.