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Pakistan will ‘respond differently, surprise India’, vows army

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday summoned a meeting to review the situation after Indian Air Force carried out air strikes at major terror camps across Line of Control. The meeting, which is being attended by defence and foreign ministry officials, has come hours after Pakistan Army confirmed that the IAF jets penetrated the…

Pakistan will ‘respond differently, surprise India’, vows army

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday summoned a meeting to review the situation after Indian Air Force carried out air strikes at major terror camps across Line of Control.
The meeting, which is being attended by defence and foreign ministry officials, has come hours after Pakistan Army confirmed that the IAF jets penetrated the LoC and dropped “payloads” in Kashmir, reports ANI.

Earlier on Tuesday, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told a media briefing that the raid on the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp at Balkot was launched because New Delhi believed suicide attacks in India were “imminent”.

“A very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen (suicide) action were eliminated,” he said.

JeM claimed responsibility for a February 14 suicide bomb attack in Kashmir that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries.

Live updates:

4:45pm

Pakistan Armed Forces has vowed a ‘different response’ to India’s LoC airstrikes, and surprise them (India).

Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson for the armed forces, made the statement during a press conference on Tuesday.

Watch the full press conference here.

3:00pm

India claims to have killed hundreds of militants and their trainers in the LoC air strikes on an alleged resort style camp in a hilltop forest in Balakot, providing Indian forces with “a sitting duck target”, when they carried out the air strike early Tuesday, sources said.

Sources added that they shifted to the camp after the Pulwama attack.

However, Pakistan has denied any casualties and claim that Indian Air Force planes , instead, dropped a payload near Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before leaving in haste as the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) scrambled its war planes.

Pakistan has vowed to respond at the time, place of its choosing.

2:15pm

Tranquillity prevailed along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) on Monday after India claimed to have carried out air strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed terror camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

However, the troops are on high alert, a senior army officer said.     

2:00pm

Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi says India has created “hysteria” in the wake of this month’s attack on Indian troops in the 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.  Alvi warned Tuesday that “we know how to defend ourselves.”

1:40pm

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan holds urgent meeting after India’s preemptive strike

A special meeting of the National Security Committee chaired by the Prime Minister was held at PM’s office today. The meeting was attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs,Defence,Finance,Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, COAS,CNS,CAS and other civil & military officials. pic.twitter.com/6qGNSyeydb
– PTI (@PTIofficial) February 26, 2019

 

Forum strongly rejected Indian claim of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot and the claim of heavy casualties. Once again Indian government has resorted to a self serving, reckless and fictitious claim.
– PTI (@PTIofficial) February 26, 2019

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned special meeting of NCA on 27 Feb 2019. PM has directed that elements of national power including the Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan to remain prepared for all eventualities.
– PTI (@PTIofficial) February 26, 2019

 

1:30pm

China urges India, Pakistan to ‘exercise restraint’ after air strike

#BREAKING China urges India, Pakistan to ‘exercise restraint’ after air strike pic.twitter.com/pufXNIdoyy
– AFP news agency (@AFP) February 26, 2019

 

1:23pm

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says ‘country in safe hands’ after India’s preemptive strike

I assure Indians that the country is in safe hands: PM @narendramodi at Churu, Rajasthan
WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/9dkdD2j0oz pic.twitter.com/iETWGVHq0h
– Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) February 26, 2019

 

1:15pm

Key Jaish e Mohammed terrorists targeted in today’s air strikes: Mufti Azhar Khan Kashmiri, head of Kashmir operations(pic 1) and Ibrahim Azhar(pic 2), the elder brother of Masood Azhar who was also involved in the IC-814 hijacking pic.twitter.com/IUv1njNygA
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

12:52pm

Visuals of JeM facility destroyed by IAF strikes

Intel Sources: Ammunition dump blown up today in Balakot,Pakistan by IAF Mirages. The dump had more than 200 AK rifles, uncountable rounds hand grenades, explosives and detonators pic.twitter.com/b7ENbKgYaH
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

Intel Sources: Picture of JeM facility destroyed by Indian Ar Force strikes in Balakot, Pakistan pic.twitter.com/th1JWbVrHw
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

12:15pm

“India violated the LoC. Pakistan holds the right to self-defence and a befitting response,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told media, after chairing an emergency consultative meeting at the Foreign Office to discuss the situation arising from what he dubbed as Indian intrusion.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi Policy Statement after the violation of LOC by Indian Air Force (26.02.19)@SMQureshiPTI pic.twitter.com/tduq8rpXd8
– PTI (@PTIofficial) February 26, 2019

 

11:40am

Pakistani villagers say one person wounded in Indian air strike

#Pakistani villagers say one person wounded in #India’s preemptive strike https://t.co/9W8Y5GNDMU pic.twitter.com/OvivAx0bKs
– Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) February 26, 2019

 

11:25am

PTI terms India’s breach of LoC ‘desperation’ due to its upcoming elections

We realise it’s election year, and a desperation across the border. Fact of the matter is, Indian jets were forced to retreat in haste by Pakistan army patrols and dumped fuel, which in their scramble they thought was a bomb.#Pakistan
– PTI (@PTIofficial) February 26, 2019

 

11:20am

Sushma Swaraj invites Opposition leaders for briefing on Balakot strikes

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has called an all-party meeting at 5pm today. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/ByYTntwdFy
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

11:10am

Pakistan drone shot down near Gujarat border in India

#Pakistan drone shot down near #Gujarat border in #India https://t.co/nx1nPTZQLe#IAFStrikes live updates: https://t.co/2JLxzPN5hh #IndianAirForce #Kashmir #Surgicalstrike2
– Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) February 26, 2019

 

10:58am

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan after the meeting in which he will discuss the security situation with high-level officials.

#Pakistan calls ’emergency meeting’ after #India carried out #airstrikes https://t.co/dVY1nYKfX2 pic.twitter.com/TBbxTdar9N
– Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) February 26, 2019

 

10:40am

PM Modi has briefed both President and Vice-President about the air strike: ANI

Sources: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has briefed both President and Vice-President about the #IndianAirForce strike at JeM terror camp in Balakot across LoC. pic.twitter.com/mDvbAllu6s
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

10:15am

Vijay Gokhale: Large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders were eliminated in largest JeM camp in Balakot. Camp was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar pic.twitter.com/l76nGMF0zV
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

10:13am

Millitants were attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country: Vijay Gokhale:

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale: Credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country & fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose pic.twitter.com/1SRgYvqjtv
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

10:10am

 

Non-military preemptive action designed to avoid civilian casualties, says Vijay Gokhale

Vijay Gokhale: Large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders were eliminated in largest JeM camp in Balakot. Camp was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar pic.twitter.com/l76nGMF0zV
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

10:01am

Video: Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefs the media in Delhi

#WATCH: Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale briefs the media in Delhi https://t.co/Th0TjwO99o
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

10am

Imran Khan’s party PTI lashes out at Indian media for ‘war mongering’.

We always knew Indian media was irresponsible, but beating the war drums shows a disturbing bloodlust and deteriorating mindset at a time when Pakistan is on an upward trajectory. Indian jets scrambled back from Balakot which lies close to the LOC.#Pakistan
– PTI (@PTIofficial) February 26, 2019

 

9:38am

Air strikes in Pakhtunkhwa region were based on locations provided by on ground intelligence sources, according to ANI reports.

Source: Air strikes in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region were based on locations provided by on ground intelligence sources. https://t.co/9BVnfSsIXB
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

9:30am

One of the targets destroyed by IAF Mirage jets was in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: ANI

Sources: One of the targets destroyed by IAF Mirage jets was in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area pic.twitter.com/QJtWeTxOfk
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

9:25am

Sources: Pakistani F16s were scrambled to retaliate against IAF Mirage 2000s but turned back due to size of Indian formation. Western Air Command coordinated operation. pic.twitter.com/cCXndYNc1H
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

9:15am

Ministry of External Affairs to hold a briefing at 11:30am, according to ANI.

Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale to brief the media at 1130 today. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/PLAnfm7cc5
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

9:05am

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has summoned an emergency meeting in Islamabad to discuss the security situation.

Radio Pakistan: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has summoned an emergency meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan. The meeting will discuss the security situation. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/G2pPKna28u
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

8:50am

Rahul Gandhi tweets after IAF strikes in Pakistan, salutes IAF pilots

???? I salute the pilots of the IAF. ????
– Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 26, 2019

 

Sources: Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad terror launch pads across the LOC completely destroyed in IAF air strikes. JeM control rooms also destroyed pic.twitter.com/cSE0TjVsBS
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

IAF Sources: At 0330 hours on 26th February a group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoCand completely destroyed it. pic.twitter.com/RlxTJ4e3AF
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

8:30am

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting with top ministers in the cabinet committee on security at his home in Delhi to take stock of the situation.

BREAKING: PM @narendramodi chairs Cabinet Committee on Security meet in Delhi; @DefenceMinIndia, EAM @SushmaSwaraj, HM @rajnathsingh, FM @arunjaitley and NSA Doval attend the meeting pic.twitter.com/FvsaKXFxcB
– Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) February 26, 2019

 

I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan
– Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 26, 2019

 

7:30am

I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots, says Arvind Kejriwal

I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan
– Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 26, 2019

 

7:25am

Pointless to speculate on impact of strike till it is clear which Balakot did IAF hit, says Omar Abdullah

If this is Balakote in KPK it’s a major incursion & a significant strike by IAF planes. However if it’s Balakote in Poonch sector, along the LoC it’s a largely symbolic strike because at this time of the year forward launch pads & militant camps are empty & non-functional.
– Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 26, 2019

 

6:30am

IAF Sources: 1000 Kg bombs were dropped on terror camps across the LoC https://t.co/jpC2w5f8X7
– ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019

 

6:10am

Pakistan claims IAF jets ‘intruded’ into its territory

Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.
– Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 26, 2019

 

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Margaret Atwood, Bernardine Evaristo win Booker Prize

The prolific Atwood had already received a Booker in 2000 for her novel ‘The Blind Assassin’. The judging panel for the Booker Prize in London named Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and British author Bernardine Evaristo as the winners of the prestigious literary award. Despite the fact that the rules of the competition say that the…

Margaret Atwood, Bernardine Evaristo win Booker Prize

The prolific Atwood had already received a Booker in 2000 for her novel ‘The Blind Assassin’.

The judging panel for the Booker Prize in London named Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and British author Bernardine Evaristo as the winners of the prestigious literary award.

Despite the fact that the rules of the competition say that the award may only be bestowed on a single individual each year, the judging panel decided to make an exception on this occasion and declare a tie after more than five hours of deliberations on Monday, Efe news reported.
Atwood, the author of “The Testaments,” and Evaristo, who earlier this year released “Girl, Woman, Other,” will share the cash award of 50,000 pounds sterling (57,200 euros or $63,051) that comes with the recognition.
This is the 79-year-old Atwood’s second Booker of her career, taking the honours this time for her sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), a dystopic story that has acquired new relevance in the feminist genre thanks to its popular television adaptation.
Evaristo, meanwhile, at age 60 becomes the only black woman to take home a Booker, her first, for a work exploring the lives and struggles of different black women in the modern-day United Kingdom.
The president of the judging panel, Peter Florence, said after announcing the decision at London’s Guildhall that the more the panel discussed it the more they came to the conclusion that they wanted both women to win.
The Booker Prize sponsors in 1992 had established an internal rule that just one person could win the award each year after Canada’s Michael Ondaatje and Britain’s Barry Unsworth received the prize in that year.
The prolific Atwood had already received a Booker in 2000 for her novel “The Blind Assassin,” and with this latest triumph she has become the fourth person and the second woman to receive the award twice, along with Hilary Mantel, J.M. Coetzee and Peter Cary.
In “The Testaments” Atwood returns to the imaginary totalitarian and patriarchal Republic of Gilead – which has supplanted the United States – to further the “Handmaid’s Tale” narrative from different female points of view.
So far, the book – published in September – has sold more than 100,000 copies in the UK, making it the most successful novel published in the country in the past four years.
This is Evaristo’s eighth novel, divided into 12 chapters, each one telling about the life of a character, most of them black women, whose fates are intertwined in some way.
The author said she was honoured to receive the award, and especially to share it with the likes of Atwood, but she expressed her hope that it would not be long before she would be joined by other black female authors as Booker recipients.
Also in the running for the Booker this year were Salman Rushdie, for his work “Quichotte,” an adaptation of the Don Quixote story set in the modern-day US, along with Chigozie Obioma, for “An Orchesta of Minorities,” Lucy Ellmann, for “Ducks, Newburyport,” and Elif Shafak, for “10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World.”
The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

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Cultural celebrations begin in Abu Dhabi to mark Putin’s visit

The event that runs until October 17 will feature a variety of cultural activities at the Emirates Palace. The UAE-Russia week kicked off in Abu Dhabi on the eve of the landmark visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The event that runs until October 17 will feature a variety of Emirati and Russian cultural activities…

Cultural celebrations begin in Abu Dhabi to mark Putin’s visit

The event that runs until October 17 will feature a variety of cultural activities at the Emirates Palace.

The UAE-Russia week kicked off in Abu Dhabi on the eve of the landmark visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The event that runs until October 17 will feature a variety of Emirati and Russian cultural activities at the Emirates Palace.

The inaugural day saw traditional Emirati performances like ayyala; a selection of Emirati and Russian culinary treats including qahwa coffee and Emirati dates and Russian bread and salt; a musical performance by Emirati pianist Fatima Al Hashimi; and a showcase of traditional handicrafts.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, inaugurated the event on Monday. Sergei Kuznetsov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the UAE, and a number of senior officials attended the opening ceremony.

Noura Al Kaabi said: “Cultural collaborations and the sharing of our traditional heritage with one another are integral to bringing two cultures closer. It provides a strong impetus to the development of bilateral relations and injecting renewed strength in the process of UAE-Russian cooperation.

“The UAE’s relationship with Russia dates back over 47 years when our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, laid the foundations of these bilateral ties.

“With thousands of Russian citizens residing in the UAE, our leadership is eager to strengthen our friendship and collaboration with Russia. The launch of the UAE-Russia Week is a key implementation in sharing knowledge in the field of culture between our two countries and it opens opportunities for artists and creatives to communicate,” she added.

Cultural relations between the UAE and Russia have developed rapidly over the past few years. Sharjah was the guest of honour at the 2019 Moscow International Book Fair, in celebration of its Arab and international cultural status after it was chosen as the World Book Capital.

Additionally, the UAE will be welcoming Russia as the Country of Honour for the 30th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2020.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com

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Doc, can we have a clean bill of service after one for health?

You’ve been there, haven’t you? Down with seasonal flu or gum problems or even that niggling migraine. Nothing that a visit or two to the doctor won’t set right. So, you take an appointment and arrive at the requested time. Yeah, you may have to still wait for your turn despite the appointment, but let’s…

Doc, can we have a clean bill of service after one for health?

You’ve been there, haven’t you? Down with seasonal flu or gum problems or even that niggling migraine. Nothing that a visit or two to the doctor won’t set right. So, you take an appointment and arrive at the requested time. Yeah, you may have to still wait for your turn despite the appointment, but let’s put a pin in that peeve (to be addressed at a later date). The doc finally examines you and comes up with a diagnosis. The medical professional then goes on to explain the treatment – the medication and any accompanying lifestyle adjustments that you might have to make – along with the duration of such a drill. All done, and you proceed to collect the prescription after making the required payment.
This is where my – and I’d believe a lot of others’ – issue begins. We make the co-payment that our insurer requires and we’re handed over the stamped prescription, which we then take to the pharmacy to collect the medicines. At the end of the day, besides the credit card counterfoils (if a card is used) and a bag of medicines, there are no tell-tale signs of our visit to the doc. We may have just walked across to a pharmacy and bought those medicines off the rack. I’ve tried the other route – of asking for an invoice from the reception, and I must confess that I’ve received it, too. But it’s done grudgingly every time I’ve insisted for one and, even then, the invoice just mentions the very basic details – like ‘doctor’s consultation’ and the amount charged, at times without even referring to the doctor by name, leave alone the diagnosis and/or a copy of the prescription.
The practice in most developed countries is that individuals do have access – both physical and online – to their own health records while parents have access to their kids’ health records until they turn 18 years of age. I’m told that my physician is obliged to share a copy of my records with me if I insist, but I’d welcome you to volunteer for such a venture and enlighten us on how it went. While the quality of medical professionals in Dubai and across the UAE is second to none, why is it that there is this cloud surrounding the billing process? You’ve given us a clean bill of health on several occasions, doc. How about a clean and transparent bill of services, too?

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