Pakistan Claims Downing of 2 Indian Fighter Jets in Kashmir

The Pakistani military says the aircraft had entered its airspace, while India accused Pakistan of intruding on its territory in the disputed area of Kashmir.

Ghafoor told a press conference in Rawalpindi that Pakistan also "does not want escalation" and called for talks with New Delhi.

Pakistan's army spokesman Asif Ghafoor tweeted a photo of the airman and said he was "being treated as per norms of military ethics".

Pakistan shot down two Indian jets on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Pakistan armed forces said, a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a war in 1971, prompting leading powers to urge both sides to show restraint.

Late Tuesday, Pakistan reportedly shelled Indian territory in Kashmir, and India retaliated early Wednesday.

What is unsafe, however, is if the Indian political leadership concludes that it must retaliate given Pakistan's targeting of military facilities-as it has publicly said.

"Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace", foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said. After years of absorbing terror attacks conceived by non-state groups based on Pakistani soil, India decided enough was enough after a February 14 vehicle-borne improvised explosive device killed forty paramilitary personnel.

On February 26, the Indian military launched what it said were retaliatory air raids which allegedly destroyed a "terrorist" training camp in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Hostilities between the two countries have been increasing since a suicide attack in India-controlled Kashmir killed more than 40 Indian soldiers earlier this month. The Srinagar airport, which was shut along with two other airports for civilian flights in the region, is also an air force station.

Major airlines have cancelled all fights to Pakistan and India amid rising tensions between the two countries.

"I also encouraged both ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity", he said.

Addressing India's concern, Sultan Mehmood Hali said New Delhi should share "actionable intelligence" on the terrorist groups with Pakistan.

Three of a family were among those martyred in the Indian firing.

"It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its global obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India", the MEA stated.

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

The downing of the Indian aircraft came on a chaotic day that also saw mortar shells fired by Indian troops from across the frontier dividing the two sectors of Kashmir kill six civilians and wound several others.

She stressed during a visit to China on Wednesday that "no military installations were targeted" in the air raid, describing the operation as a "pre-emptive strike" to prevent another attack in India by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group.

  • Jon Douglas