Pakistan Strikes India In Retaliation, An Indian Airforce Pilot Captured By Pakistan

indian aircraft downed

Escalating tensions between the two nuclear armed South Asian neighbours, Pakistan carried out an air strike inside India in retaliation to the air strike carried out by India in Balakot yesterday. In the ensuing air battle an Indian Airforce Pilot was captured by Pakistan.

Pakistan claimed that they shot down two Indian fighter jets. They claimed that one of the aircraft fell on India’s side of Kashmir, while the second came down in Pakistani-held territory with two pilots captured.

However Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, addressing the media alongside Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapur said, “The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly. In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts”. Later the Indian authorities that a pilot was captured by Pakistan.

Reuters reported,

Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the Pakistan armed forces, said Pakistan carried out six air strikes in Indian-occupied Kashmir after Indian jets had entered its airspace. India denies this, saying Pakistan has initiated the engagement by targeting military installations.

Describing the Pakistani air mission before the downing of the Indian jets, Ghafoor said Pakistani planes “locked” on Indian ground targets to demonstrate their capabilities to strike, but deliberately fired elsewhere on open spaces where there would be no casualties.

“This was not a retaliation in true sense, but to tell Pakistan has capability, we can do it, but we want to be responsible, we don’t want an escalation, we don’t want a war,” Ghafoor told a news conference.

Ghafoor produced photographs of weapons and identity documents he said were carried by Indian pilots.

The Pakistan government’s official Twitter account released a video of what it claimed was one of the Indian pilots who had been shot down.

The man, whose face is bloodied and blindfolded, gives his name and service number, before telling a man questioning him: “I’m sorry sir, that’s all I’m supposed to tell you.”

 Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a televised address, called for dialogue and said: “It was our plan to not cause any collateral damage, and not to cause any casualties. We simply wanted to show capability. Two Indian MiGs crossed Pakistan’s Borders, and we shot them down. I want to now address India and say let sanity prevail.”

Last night heavy gunfire was reported on the line of control between two side. Pakistan claimed four people were killed in the firing.

Tensions escalate after Indian airforce carried out air strike across the Line of Control (LoC) on February 26 morning. The strike was carried out at around 3:30 this morning by 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. The aircraft dropped 1,000 kg laser-guided bombs on a major terror camp in Balakot.

India’s operation came two week after the terror attack in Pulwama in which over 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed when a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed exploded a car full of bombs next to a security convoy. The Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is led by Masood Azhar, had claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack and had also posted videos of the bomber, who had joined the terror group a year ago.

On September 29, 2016, the army had carried out surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in retaliation to an attack on its base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri earlier that month.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from British colonial rule in 1947 and went to the brink a fourth in 2002 after a Pakistani militant attack on India’s parliament.

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