Day after Balakote strike, Pak jets enter into India
IAF plane shot down, pilot captured alive
India says shot down PAF aircraft
Srinagar, Feb 27: The war-like situation between India and Pakistan turned graver on Wednesday when Pakistani fighter jets flew into Indian air space in Poonch and Nowshera sector in the morning even as India claimed shooting down on of them on its way back.
Pakistan too said it managed to take down two Indian fighter jets and capture one pilot alive.
The development came a day after Indian Air Force flew into Pakistan’s Balakote and claimed striking key Jaish installations.
Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar Wednesday said the Pakistani warplane was “shot down” by the Indian Air Force after it attempted to “target military establishments” in Jammu and Kashmir but was intercepted by the IAF.
“Against this Counter Terrorism Action [aerial strikes carried out on Tuesday morning on Jaish camps] Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully,” the MEA spokesperson said.
He added that in this engagement, India lost one MiG-21. “The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan claims he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” said Kumar at a press briefing.
Reports claimed that the Pakistani jet was shot three kilometres within Pakistan territory in Lam valley of Nowshera sector.
Pakistan, however, denied its jet was shot down, saying it had not received any such information.
It said that its jets had crossed the Line of Control to undertake strikes in India for “self defence”, a day after IAF claimed conducted airstrikes at a Jaish camp in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Foreign Office, said in a statement: “Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace. This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence.”
“Pakistan has, therefore, taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm.”
“That is why we 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.
Later in the day, Director General (DG) of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, while addressing a press conference said: “Today’s action was in self defence; we do not want to claim any victory. The way we set out target and made sure that there were no collateral damage — the in-built message was that despite out capability, we look towards peace.”
“Today morning, Pakistan Air Force engaged 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,” the Pakistan army spokesperson, as per Dawn, said.
“Pakistan is not pushing the environment towards war,” he made it clear, adding that Pakistan “deliberately and thoughtfully” avoided escalation.
“If that were the case [that Pakistan wanted to escalate], we could have easily engaged the [military] targets, which our air force had locked. That would have resulted in human casualties and collateral damage as well.
“We [instead] engaged a nearby open space where there were no human lives or military posts. We deliberately avoided the escalation. We only wanted to demonstrate that we could have easily taken the original target, which was their administrative setup and military post. But we did not do that,” Dawn reported the DG ISPR saying.
The military spokesperson also refuted Indian reports that a PAF F-16 had been shot down.
“Indian media was saying that they shot down a Pakistani F-16. Firstly, Pakistan did not use F-16s in the entire action and there is no news that a Pakistan plane was downed,” he said.
The flare up in the cross-LoC shelling, which was initiated by Pakistani troops in early hours of Wednesday, has also resulted in security forces and other establishments being put on a heightened alert.