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India-Pakistan air strikes updates: Abhinandan the only pilot in custody, says Pakistan military after claims of capturing two

India-Pakistan air strikes LIVE updates: DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter, 'There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics.'

FP Staff February 27, 2019 18:33:34 IST
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India-Pakistan air strikes updates: Abhinandan the only pilot in custody, says Pakistan military after claims of capturing two
  • Pakistan Army has claimed it shot down two Indian military aircraft over Pakistani air space and arrested two pilots

  • India, however, said an Indian pilot was 'missing in action' and that the government is ascertaining details of Pakistan's claim

  • Narendra Modi held a review meeting with NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, defence and intel officials at the Prime Minister's Office

Highlights

17:41 (ist)

Farooq Abdullah calls for de-escalation of India-Pakistan tensions

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday called for de-escalation of India-Pakistan tensions and urged both countries to maintain maximum restraint for the greater good of humanity.

“A war apparently seems a little word of few letters but its effects are always harmful. It brings destruction which cannot be compensated for many years. No peaceful mind wants war. I urge the peace-loving people in both countries to come forth and help de-escalate the situation. I am pretty sure that a number of people who want peace far exceed the hawkish people numerically, it is the right time for the doves to come forward.” Abdullah said while addressing people from south Kashmir at party headquarters in Srinagar.

“It is the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially those living on both sides of the LoC or international border who have to face the brunt of skirmishes between the two countries. Let the war belong to the tragic past in history. It should find no place in our agenda.  Let me remind the two nations that war is a plague that will have far-reaching consequences on the growth and development of the two nations, besides that it will make the lives of people living on both sides of the border no less a scourge.”

“It is in the interest of our region if both the countries shun war rhetoric. I also urge both the countries to shun violence for the greater good of people living in both countries especially for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

17:05 (ist)

India stands by missing IAF pilot; #BringBackAbhinandan trends on Twitter

After Pakistan claimed that it has an IAF pilot in their custody, the demand to bring back the missing pilot grew on social media. #Abhinandan, #SayNoToWar, and #BringBackAbhinandan are currently the top three trends in India on Twitter. India is yet to name the missing pilot.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said, "Pakistan, please treat him as you would have us treat one of your men in uniform should he be unfortunate enough to be captured on this side of the border." Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, too, expressed their concerns for the Indian pilot who was "missing in action".

15:35 (ist)

FULL STATEMENT OF MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

The Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that an Indian pilot is missing in action after a Mig-21 Bison fighter plane was lost while engaging with Pakistani jets after they violated Indian airspace. Pakistan military has, however, claimed to have captured two Indian pilots, saying one of them was in hospital. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar added that Pakistani planes targeted military establishments in Jammu and Kashmir, but were forced to retreat by alert Indian forces. “Pakistan claims he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” Kumar said.

India had informed about Counter Terrorism (CT) action it took yesterday against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks. Against this Counter Terrorism Action, 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 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.

13:50 (ist)

If America can go to Pakistan for Osama bin Laden, why can't we: Arun Jaitley

At an event of Namami Gange, finance minister Arun Jaitley remarked saying that everything is possible in this day and age referring to the ongoing standoff between Pakistan and India after reports claimed that Pakistan F-16 jets violated Indian airspace. 

Jaitley said, "If America can go to Pakistan to get Osama Bin Laden, why can't we?"

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Feb 27, 2019 - 19:42 (IST)

47 flights cancelled at IGI airport in Delhi

NDTV reported that a total of 47 flights — 25 departures and 22 arrivals — have been cancelled at Delhi airport on Wednesday.

Feb 27, 2019 - 19:22 (IST)

Indigo offers compliamentary tickets to jawans on leaves

Indigo offers complimentary tickets with no cancellation fees to Indian soldiers on leaves who have been asked to resume their duties by the Indian Armed Forces.

Feb 27, 2019 - 18:59 (IST)

India objects to Pakistan’s 'vulgar display' of injured IAF personnel

In MEA's press release on India summoning acting high commissioner of Pakistan, it said that India strongly objected to Pakistan’s "vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention". "It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return," it said.


"Regret was expressed at continuing denial by Pakistan’s political and military leadership at the presence of terrorist infrastructure in territories under its control. A dossier was handed over to Pakistan side with specific details of JeM complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan," the statement said.

Feb 27, 2019 - 18:55 (IST)

UK calls for restraint on both sides to avoid further escalation

UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a Twitter message that UK is "deeply concerned" about the rising tensions between India and Pakistan. "We urgently call for restraint on both sides to avoid further escalation," he said.

Feb 27, 2019 - 18:50 (IST)

Pakistan demarched on 'act of aggression' against India, says MEA

In a press release, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the acting high commissioner of Pakistan was summoned on Wednesday afternoon by the ministry to lodge a strong protest at unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India earlier on Wednesday, including violation of the Indian air space by Pakistan Air Force and targeting of Indian military posts.

"It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return," the release said.

Feb 27, 2019 - 18:26 (IST)

Only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody, says Pakistan military

DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter, "There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics." (sic)

Earlier in the day, Ghafoor had said that Pakistan had captured two Indian pilots, one of whom was injured and receiving treatment in hospital.

Feb 27, 2019 - 18:19 (IST)
Pak closes airspace: Jet Airways wants DGCA to relax crew timing curbs
 
Jet Airways has sought relaxation in flight duty and rest-hour norms from the regulator DGCA due to the closure of the Pakistani airspace and subsequent
rerouting of the west-bound flights amid escalation of tension between the two nations.
 
The dispensation has been sought as these west-bound flights, which were earlier using the Pakistani airspace, will now have to be operated over the sea, entailing higher flying time than the regular routes, a source said.
 
"Due to the escalation of tension along the Western border, the Pakistani airspace has been closed. In view of  this, we have to reroute flights South of Pakistan FIR (flight information region) leading to increase in flight and flight duty times," Jet Airways vice-president for operations Floyd Gracious said in a communication to the airline pilots.
 
PTI

Feb 27, 2019 - 18:10 (IST)
India lodges protest with Pakistan's deputy high commissioner
 
India on Wednesday summoned Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah in New Delhi to lodge a strong protest over Pakistan Air Force's bid to attack Indian military installations.
 
According to External Affairs Ministry sources, the Pakistani deputy envoy also told Indian officials about capturing of an Indian pilot by Pakistani authorities.
 
In Islamabad, Pakistan's foreign office also summoned India's acting high commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned what it called "unprovoked ceasefire violations" by the Indian forces along the Line of Control resulting in killing of four civilians. 
 
PTI

Feb 27, 2019 - 18:05 (IST)

Russia calls on India and Pakistan for restraint in connection with the border incident

According to the press secretary of Russian president Dmitry Peskov, Moscow is following the development of events.

Russia is concerned about the aggravation of relations between India and Pakistan and calls on both sides to show restraint — this was stated to journalists by the press secretary, commenting on the military incident in the region.

According to him, Moscow is following developments. "We are extremely concerned about the news coming in, we are very closely monitoring the situation and, of course, we urge all parties to show restraint," said a Kremlin spokesman.

Feb 27, 2019 - 17:53 (IST)

Omar Abdullah says he skipped Opposition meeting 'in light of developments'

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that he "had requested the Opposition to postpone the meeting in light of the developments, especially after the news of our pilot being in Pakistani custody but they felt otherwise". "I chose not to attend as a result," he wrote on Twitter.

India-Pakistan air strikes Latest updates: DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter, "There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics." (sic)

 After 21 political parties of the Opposition held a meeting, they released a joint statement which said, "The leaders expressed concern on the emerging security situation. Post the statement from the MEA regarding targeting of our military installations and loss of one fighter aircraft, the leaders condemned the Pakistani misadventure and expressed their deep concern for the safety of our missing pilot."

After Pakistan claimed that it has an IAF pilot in their custody, the demand to bring back the missing pilot grew on social media. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said, "Pakistan, please treat him as you would have us treat one of your men in uniform should he be unfortunate enough to be captured on this side of the border."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a review meeting with NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, defence and intel officials. IAF and navy chief are also present at the Prime Minister's Office.

Imran Khan, in his address to the nation, raised several important issues. "All wars in world history have been miscalculated, those who started the wars did not know where it will end. So, I want to ask India, with the weapons you and we have, can we afford miscalculation," he said.

"We had offered India full cooperation for investigation after Pulwama attack. We understand you are pained by Pulwama tragedy. We do not support Pakistan's soil be used for terrorism but we were bound to retaliate and take action," said Imran.

"We offered peace to India after what happened in Pulwama. I understand the pain of the families (who lost family members in Pulwama). I have visited hospitals and seen the pain of people affected by violence," Imran further added.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar is addressing a press conference, says Pakistan has targeted military installations on Indian side. "One Pakistani aircraft was shot down. We have lost one fighter jet. One pilot has been missing. Pakistan has claimed they have arrested him. However, we are still ascertaining the fact," he adds.

Pakistan claims to have a pilot "identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan" and has circulated a video of a blindfolded man in jumpsuit being questioned but Firstpost has not been able to establish the veracity of Pakistan's claim. India has not yet responded to Pakistan's claim.

Flight operations temporarily suspended at Shimla, Bhuntar and Gagal airports in Himachal Pradesh. Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to address Pakistan shortly. Meanwhile, nine airports, including the ones in Srinagar and Jammu, were closed on Wednesday for civilian air traffic amid escalating tension with Pakistan, officials said. Airports at Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Pathankot, Amritsar, Shimla, Kangra, Kullu Manali, Pithoragarh were among those closed, they said.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistani army, said Indian jets had entered Pakistan in response and two fighter jets had been shot down, with two pilots captured.

Pakistan claims to have a pilot "identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan" and has circulated a video of a blindfolded man in jumpsuit being questioned but Firstpost has not been able to establish the veracity of Pakistan's claim. India has not yet responded to Pakistan's claim.

DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor addressing the media on Wednesday cautioned India media against war mongering. "Pakistan media should continue objective reporting. We do not want war and we will never initiate war from our side. But if India forces us, we will not keep quiet." Ghafoor said that Pakistan violating Indian airspace on Wednesday was just an act of self-defence. "We only targeted those spots where we were sure we won't harm any civilians."

"We do not want war. We want to take a path that leads to peace," Ghafoor said at a televised press conference. The media briefing by the DG Inter-Services Public Relations was held after several reports claimed that Pakistani Air Force's F-16 were shot down in Indian retaliatory firing. "There was no F-16 to be shot down," claimed Ghafoor and blamed India for war mongering. "Only humanity loses in a war. This was an act of self-defence and the inbuilt message was that Pakistan did not want to hurt any civilian. The target for the attack was crucial. We wanted to prove that we have the capability of defending ourselves."

There are no reports of any IAF jet suffering damage in action by "India's adversaries", defence sources told PTI on Wednesday even as confusion prevailed over border standoff between India and Pakistan. Earlier in the day, Pakistan claimed it shot down two Indian military aircraft over Pakistani airspace and arrested at least one of the pilots.

Due to air space restrictions, flights UK611 (Delhi-Sringar-Jammu), UK612 (Jammu-Srinagar-Delhi), UK735 (Mumbai-Amritsar), UK736 (Amritsar-Mumbai), UK976 (Delhi-Amritsar) and UK707 (Amritsar-Delhi) stand cancelled for today, tweeted Vistara Airlines. Flight Radar took note of the current airspace and compared it with the same time a month ago and the difference is quite shocking. International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace now being affected. Some flights returning to origin, while others appear to be seeking alternate routing.

Pakistan has stopped its domestic and international flight operations to and from Lahore, Multan, Faislabad, Sialkot and Islamabad Airports. India has already temporarily shut Jammu, Srinagar, Leh and Amritsar airports.

Reports have also said that International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace now being affected. Some flights returning to origin, while others appear to be seeking alternate routing.

Pakistan Air Force's F-16 jet that violated Indian air space was shot down in Indian retaliatory fire 3 kilometres within Pakistan territory in Lam valley, in Nowshera sector. A parachute was spotted going down, but the condition of the pilot is not known.

"In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) while other fell inside IOK (the state of Jammu and Kashmir). One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area," said Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor.

Budgam police has arrived at the site where an IAF jet crashed. The city SSP said that two bodies, of the pilot and co-pilot, have been recovered and the IAF's technical team is yet to arrive. The team will ascertain the cause of the crash. 

Authorities have suspended civilian air traffic to and fro Srinagar airport due to security reasons. The airports in Leh, Jammu, Srinagar and Pathankot have also been put on high alert.

Reports have said that in retaliation to India's yesterday's airstrike, Pakistani jets have violated the Indian airspace on Wednesday. Jets were sighted in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Rajouri sectors and they have reportedly dropped bombs on vacant areas.

In aftermath of the Indian Air Force strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed installations across the border, the hostilities between India and Pakistan seems to have escalated. Pakistani troops Wednesday intensely shelled Indian posts in Uri Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

The shelling comes a day after the IAF carried out air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps inside the neighbouring country.  Pakistani Army fired mortar shells towards Indian posts in the arly hours of Wednesday, a police official said.  He said there were no reports of any casualties so far.  The official said the Indian Army retaliated to the Pakistani action in an equal measure.

The exchange of fire across the LoC in Uri sector was going in when reports last came in, he added.

Meanwhile, an air space violation was reported in Rajouri sector as well, as unconfirmed reports said a Pakistani chopper sighted in Indian air space.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date:

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