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Pakistan Air Force shoots down two Indian fighter jets: one pilot arrested

One injured pilot he was taken to the CMH

SAMAA | , , and - Posted: Feb 27, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Feb 27, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Two Indian Air Force MiG 21 aircraft were shot down by the Pakistan Air Force in Kashmir Wednesday. One pilot has been arrested. 

One plane crashed in the Kohi Rata sector of Azad Kashmir while one crashed in Indian-Administered Kashmir's Budgam area.

ISPR DG Major General Asif Ghafoor had said during a media briefing that two personnel of the IAF were arrested and one was injured so he was taken to the CMH where he is being treated.  In a video, the Indian pilot identified himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan. His service number is 27981 and he is a flying pilot. India's ministry of external affairs has accepted that one of their planes was shot down and that a pilot was captured.

He also identified himself as a Hindu but refused to give any more information. "That’s all I'm supposed to tell you," he told the soldiers interrogating him.

Later, however, the ISPR head tweeted that only one pilot was in the custody of the Pakistan Army.

According to Indian media, the Srinagar Airport has been shut down. Many flights have been diverted.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told SAMAA TV that he said at a press conference on Tuesday that Pakistan has decided to respond to India's aggression. Now we have responded, he said.

I also told the UN secretary general about India's violation of international law and the UN's own charter, he said. The country is is ready to fulfill its responsibility, said Qureshi. However, he cautioned that Pakistan does not and has never wanted escalation.

Related: Pakistan Air Force foils attempted Indian attack after it breaches Line of Control

War is not and has never been our aim, he said, adding that Pakistan is a peaceful country. Qureshi reminded India that they started this. You put politics ahead of regional peace, he said. He said more details will follow after the National Command Authority meeting today.

The NCA is the authority that makes decisions regarding the command and control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan are both nuclear-armed countries.

The PAF action comes after two Indian aircraft violated the Line of Control and crossed three to four miles into Pakistani territory near Muzzaffarabad before PAF jets scrambled and they turned back. They dropped a payload but no damage was incurred, according to the ISPR chief, who took to Twitter to announce the event.

India, on the other hand, claims to have “completely destroyed” a “terrorist camp” in Balakot by dropping “1,000kg bombs”.

Related: Exclusive: Watch two Indian fighter jets get shot down by the Pakistan Air Force

According to Indian news agency ANI, a PAF F-16 that "violated" Indian airspace was shot down in retaliatory fire by India. It is also reporting that a parachute was seen as the aircraft was going down. However, the ISPR chief has denied this. He said F-16s were not used by the air force in this operation.

“We don’t want war. We have suffered tremendously,” said State Minister of Interior Sherhryar Afridi at a conference in Islamabad. He said the PAF shooting down Indian jets will make it clear to India to “never challenge us”.

Flight operations at all airports in the country have been suspended. Pakistan's airspace has been closed and a high alert issued to security officials.

The ISPR chief addressed the media Wednesday afternoon and said Pakistan could have fired at targets that could have resulted in major human casualties but chose not to. He said Pakistan targeted six non-military targets in Indian Kashmir and engaged them from its own airspace. We chose targets that would not result in human casualties and collateral damage.

Related: Watch: Pilot captured by Pakistan Air Force confirms he is from India

We have the capacity, capability, will, resolve and support of the Pakistani people, he said, adding that Pakistan is a responsible country that wants peace. When the targets were first decided, we agreed that we will not target military targets or ones that would result in loss of human life and collateral damage, he said. When we engaged, we did so from a safe distance within our own airspace, he said.

He urged India to consider Pakistan’s offer of peace with a cool head. He also urged the international community to play its part to see how the environment between India and Pakistan is a threat to peace in the region and beyond.

SAMAA TV's correspondent along the Line of Control said that there has been no activity along the border. Schools have been shut down and businesses closed after this morning's events.

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