Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country’s support in India’s fight against cross-border terrorism, in a phone call on Thursday.
Putin has called Modi to express his condolences over the 14 February terrorist attack on Indian paramilitary forces in the Pulwama district in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, which killed 40 troops.
“The Prime Minister thanked President Putin for Russia’s steadfast support for India’s efforts to protect its interests against cross-border terror attacks, and renewed India’s commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation in countering terrorism”, the statement by Modi’s office reads.
Putin also reiterated the invitation for Modi to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok later this year. The prime minister welcomed the invitation and underscored the significance of a growing economic cooperation, including in the Russian Far East.
The Pakistani military said on Wednesday it had shot down two Indian warplanes in the disputed region of Kashmir and captured a pilot, responding to an airstrike a day earlier by Indian aircraft against what New Delhi said was a camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad, considered a terrorist group by India, and located on the Pakistani soil across the so-called Line of Control (LoC).
The Indian airstrike came after a deadly attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad on the Indian paramilitary police force in Kashmir last month. While India has accused Pakistan of supporting the militants and having a “direct hand” in the incident, Pakistan, in turn, has rejected the allegations, accusing India of being responsible for human rights violations taking place in Kashmir.
India and Pakistan both lay territorial claims to Kashmir. Jaish-e Mohammed has staged several attacks in northern India since it has emerged reportedly in 1999 and is known to have close ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.