Pakistan claims shooting down 2 Indian fighter jets
By Islamuddin Sajid and Aamir Latif
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan army on Wednesday claimed that the country’s air force have shot down two Indian fighter jets that crossed into Pakistani territory. India has denied Pakistani reports of downing of their aircrafts and capture of their airforce pilots.
“IAF [Indian Air Force] crossed LOC [Line of Control], PAF [Pakistan Air Force] shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK,” Maj, Gen. Asif Ghafoor, Pakistan army spokesman, said in a Twitter post.
“One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area,” he added.
Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), confirmed the action via a tweet, adding that “in response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF [Indian Air Force] crossed LoC.”
“PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K [Azad Jammu and Kashmir] while other fell inside IoK [Indian occupied Kashmir]. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.”
India today denied Pakistani claims of shooting down Indian jets and said “all our pilots are accounted for” after Pakistan put out a statement claiming “strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace”, according to Indian media reports. There has been no official response from Indian government yet.
“Today morning, Pakistan Air Force engaged with six targets at the LoC. Because we are a responsible state and want peace, we decided that we will not use any military target.
“As a result of engaging our target, no human life was affected. Staying within our jurisdiction, six targets were locked. And we carried out the strike,” said the army spokesperson.
“Pakistan is not pushing the environment towards war,” he made it clear, adding Pakistan deliberately avoided escalation.
According to Pakistani officials, the bombing in Indian held Kashmir from Pakistani territory did not target any Indian army posts.
All airspace at Jammu, Srinagar and Leh, in Indian occupied Kashmir close to the border with Pakistan, has been shut down indefinitely, sources say.
Earlier, in a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace.
“This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage,” the statement said.
“We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm,” it added.
The statement explained that Pakistan undertook the action with “clear warning and in broad daylight.”
“For the last few years, India has been trying to establish what they call “a new normal” a thinly veiled term for doing acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day,” it said.
“If India is striking at so called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan,” the Foreign Ministry warned.
However, it said that they do not wish to go to that route and wish that India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation.
Meanwhile, Indian Today, a broadcaster, claimed in a report that Indian forces have shot down a Pakistani F-16 that “violated Indian airspace”.
The tension between the two nuclear neighbors has raised after Indian jets intruded into Pakistan’s airspace on early Tuesday.
India had claimed that “several terrorists” were killed in preemptive action on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp inside Pakistan.
The Pakistani civil and military officials have rejected the claim.
Additional report by The Muslim News[Photo: Indian security guards are seen at the crash site after an Indian Air Force aircraft crashed in Kashmir, India on February 27, 2019. Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]