Major airlines suspending flights to Pakistan, India amid rising tensions

India has strongly objected to Islamabad putting out photographs and videos of the pilot who was missing in action after he engaged with Pakistani jets that violated Indian airspace on Wednesday morning.

India has yet to respond to Pakistan's claims.

Local reports said one aircraft came down in Garend Kalan village, 7km from Budgam in central Kashmir.

We will surprise you.

"We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm", Ghafoor said.

Pakistan's air force has shot down two Indian warplanes after they crossed the boundary between the two nuclear-armed rivals in the disputed territory of Kashmir, an army spokesman said.

On Tuesday, Pakistan began shelling using heavy calibre weapons in 12 to 15 places along the Line of Control, a spokesman for the Indian defence forces said on Wednesday.

Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan does not want to escalate its crisis with India, nor does it want to go to war.

"In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21". The pilot is missing in action, said Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs.

"The officers of the Pakistani Army have looked after me well, they are thorough gentlemen", he said.

The Indian air force ordered Kashmir's main airport in Srinagar and three other airports to close down because of the incidents. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is up for reelection in the coming weeks. Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based militant group, claimed responsibility.

What is risky, however, is if the Indian political leadership concludes that it must retaliate given Pakistan's targeting of military facilities-as it has publicly said. While the other plane crashed in Indian territory, Abhinandan was not so lucky.

Pakistan is at the time of writing still maintaining a ban on aircraft entering from Delhi at an altitude of below 32,000 feet-that ban has led Air India to reroute flights taking off from Delhi that would have passed over Pakistan. It stepped up dramatically this week when Indian jets bombed what Delhi said was a terrorist training camp on the Pakistani side. It called the targeting of civilian areas "deplorable" and said such cease-fire violations could lead to a "strategic miscalculation".

India long has accused Pakistan of cultivating such militant groups to attack it. Pakistan has said it was not involved in that attack and was ready to help New Delhi in the investigations.

Pakistan says Indian warplanes dropped bombs near the town of Balakot but that there were no casualties. Asked about attributes important for a pilot, he says: "Bad attitude".

"This is a conflict that has potential ramifications for billions of people in the region and that's why we're calling for dialogue, for de-escalation", Trudeau said, adding Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is engaging with her counterparts. "We must not talk about this".

"The Indian air force responded strongly and they were pushed back", the official said.

Pakistani commentators warned that the situation could rapidly spiral out of control.

Can more bloodshed be avoided?

"What we saw today is the beginning, and things could move to war".

The latest escalation marks a test for the leaders of both nations, with one seeking re-election in a few months and the other facing his first real challenge on foreign policy.

As tensions mounted, commercial flights were suspended across Pakistan and a swath of northwestern India.

Indian airlines have cancelled service to six cities in northern India.

  • Jon Douglas