The military spokesperson said the Indian aircraft crossed the LoC, the PAF retaliated and two Indian aircraft were shot down in Pakistani airspace. An Indian pilot was also captured by Pakistani forces, confirmed ISPR.
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
“One Indian pilot arrested by troops on the ground while two in the area,” said the ISPR, elaborating that two Indian pilots are in the area. The wreckage of one of the IAF jets fell within Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) while the second fell in Kashmir.
A statement by the FO said: “Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self-defence. We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm.”
The FO statement added it was why Pakistan “undertook the action with a clear warning and in broad daylight”.
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) February 27, 2019
“For the last few years, India has been trying to establish what they call ‘a new normal’ a thinly veiled term for doing acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day. 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.”
“We do not wish to go to that route and wish that India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation,” it asserted.
The development comes a day after Pakistan’s civil and military leadership declared the violation of airspace by Indian fighter jets “uncalled for aggression” and decided that the country would respond at the “time and place of its choosing”.
“Once again Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim. This action has been done for domestic consumption being in an election environment, putting regional peace and stability at grave risk,” an official statement issued by the Prime Minister office said.
“The claimed area of strike is open for the world to see the facts on the ground. For this domestic and international media is being taken to the impact site,” it added. The premier also called a meeting of the National Command Authority and a Parliament session on Wednesday.
It was Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor, who first broke the news of airspace violation by Indian jets along the Line of Control (LoC).
His early morning tweet said Pakistan scrambled its fighter jets to challenge the Indian incursion. In haste, according to the chief military spokesperson, Indian warplanes released their payloads that had free fall in an open area.
A few hours later, the Indian foreign secretary addressed a news conference in New Delhi in which he claimed that Indian fighter jets carried out ‘preemptive strikes’ targeting the alleged terrorist camps of banned Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant group. Pakistan did confirm the Indian incursion but strongly rebutted the claim that any terrorist camp was hit on its side of the LoC.