Published: Sun, March 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Tensions escalate after Pakistan violates Indian airspace

Tensions escalate after Pakistan violates Indian airspace

New Delhi is "looking for something strong" and because India has lost nearly 50 people in the Pulwama attack, "I can understand that also", he said.

"Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor at Attari-Wagah border said", Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been handed over to us. He appeared in good health as he was questioned about his hometown, his aircraft and his mission. "As a result both the Indian planes were shot down and the wreckage of one fell on our side while the wreckage of the other fell on their side", he said. He also shared details of arrested Indian pilots.

At the time of CAA's announcement, Pakistani airspace, according to Flight Radar 24 - a global flight tracking service - was nearly entirely empty.

Former Pakistani foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, has accused India of "calling out war" amid escalating tensions in Kashmir. He said one of the planes fell in Pakistani territory while the other fell in the Indian side. Two of the pilots have been killed in the incident.

"Can we afford any miscalculation with the kind of weapons that we have and you have?" the prime minister said, alluding to the nuclear arsenal of both the countries and asking: "If escalation begins from here, where will it go?"

Gen. Asif Ghafoor, says one of the pilots is injured and is being treated in a military hospital. He said one Pakistani aircraft was shot down, something Pakistan denied.

Indian news reports said airports in the Indian portion of Kashmir closed for civilian traffic shortly after the air force jet crashed. The Srinagar airport, which was shut along with two other airports for civilian flights in the region, is also an air force station.

Eyewitnesses said soldiers fired warning shots into the air to keep residents away from the crash site.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) tweeted that it "has officially closed its airspace until further notice", while a Pakistani military spokesman said the decision had been taken "due to the environment". The organisation earlier claimed responsibility for the deadly attack against an Indian military convoy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in February.

She stressed during a visit to China on Wednesday that "no military installations were targeted" in the air raid, describing the operation as a "preemptive strike" to prevent another attack in India by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group.

India's airstrikes were the first to be employed on its neighbor's territory since the two countries went to war in 1971. The reports further stated that 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation that dropped almost thousand-kilogram laser-guided bombs across the LoC.

Residents on both sides of the de-facto frontier, the so-called Line of Control, said there were exchanges of fire between the two sides through the night into Wednesday morning.

Indian air force spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi said he has no information on Pakistan's statement.

Imran Khan, Pakistan's prime minister, rejected India's claim of terrorist camps being the target and called it "a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim". "To avoid further military action, this is a unsafe cycle of escalation", Senator Payne said.

The Pakistan government was under tremendous worldwide pressure to de-escalate the tensions with India and release the captured pilot. The shells hit the village of Kotli in Pakistan's section of Kashmir.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told state-run Pakistan Television he was in touch with his counterparts across the world about the "Indian aggression", adding that New Delhi had endangered peace in the region by Tuesday's airstrike on Pakistan.

The escalation in tensions comes weeks after 44 Indian military personnel were killed in a vehicle bomb attack that was claimed by a Pakistani-based militant group. India has refuted these claims, PTI reported.

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