Pakistan standoff helps India's Modi shift focus from jobs

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo, Indians offer sweets to each other as they celebrate reports of Indian aircrafts bombing Pakistan territory

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo, Indians offer sweets to each other as they celebrate reports of Indian aircrafts bombing Pakistan territory

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of a campaign aimed at opening millions of bank acc

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of a campaign aimed at opening millions of bank acc

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, Indian paramilitary soldiers carry the remains of colleagues at the site of a suicide bombing in Pampore, Ind

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, Indian paramilitary soldiers carry the remains of colleagues at the site of a suicide bombing in Pampore, Ind

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2019, file photo, Indian muslims burn posters of Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, center, and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Maso

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2019, file photo, Indian muslims burn posters of Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, center, and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Maso

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol near the India-Pakistan international border area at Gakhrial bo

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol near the India-Pakistan international border area at Gakhrial bo

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2016, file photo, Indian policemen stand guard during a curfew in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister N

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2016, file photo, Indian policemen stand guard during a curfew in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister N

FILE - In this July 19, 2009, file photo, an Indian Border Security Force soldier, right, and a Pakistani Rangers soldier face one another at a daily

FILE - In this July 19, 2009, file photo, an Indian Border Security Force soldier, right, and a Pakistani Rangers soldier face one another at a daily

NEW DELHI (AP) — A standoff with nuclear rival Pakistan appears to have given Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a boost ahead of national elections set to begin in April.

After a suicide bombing killed 40 soldiers in Indian-controlled Kashmir, India's air force launched a strike on an alleged terrorist training camp inside Pakistan.

The crisis has helped the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to turn attention away from its mixed record on the economy.

Conflicting government accounts on the damage caused by the Indian strike in Pakistan have given opposition parties more ammunition to attack Modi. But Modi has used their doubts about the strike to polish his own "strongman" credentials.