Pakistan claims to have shot down 2 IAF aircraft, arrested one Indian pilot; says 'purpose was to demonstrate right to defend self'
Reports had said that in retaliation to Tuesday's airstrike, Pakistani jets had violated the Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Rajouri sectors.
Pakistan's ministry of foreign affairs also released a statement stating that the Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across the Line of Control
Pakistan army spokesperson Asif Ghafoor said one of the aircraft (presumed to be a MIG-21) was struck
The sole purpose, said the Pakistan foreign ministry, was to demonstrate our right, will and capability to self defence
Pakistan on Wednesday claimed that its air force had shot down two Indian aircraft and that an Indian pilot was arrested by troops.
Reports had said that in retaliation to Tuesday's airstrike, Pakistani jets had violated the Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Rajouri sectors. PAF fighters reportedly dropped bombs at Nadian, Laam Jhangar and Kerri in Rajouri district and in the Hamirpur area of Bhimber Galli in Poonch, at about 10 am.
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 while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 27, 2019
In a tweet, Pakistan army spokesperson Asif Ghafoor said one of the aircraft that was struck, fell inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir and another fell inside the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan's ministry of foreign affairs also released a statement stating that the Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across the Line of Control, but claimed that they were from within the Pakistani airspace.
"This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at non-military targets, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability to self defence. We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm," the release read. It added that Pakistan had issued "clear warning" of the attack in broad daylight.
The statement also mentioned that the attack was a strike against what India had been trying to establish as a "new normal". "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," it said.
The statement also asked for India to give "peace a chance".
The confirmation by Pakistan came minutes before Pakistan Air Force's F-16 jet, that violated Indian air space, was shot down in Indian retaliatory fire three kilometres within Pakistan territory in Lam valley, in Nowshera sector.
Meanwhile, an Mi-17 transport chopper has crashed in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam and two bodies have been found at the site. The exact cause behind this attack has not been determined.
Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan had called for a meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) in the aftermath of India's preemptive, non-military air strikes at terror camps in Balakot in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The NCA is Pakistan's apex body in charge of its nuclear arsenals.
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