Published: Thu, February 28, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Pakistan military 'shoots down' two Indian aircraft

Pakistan military 'shoots down' two Indian aircraft

Airlines like Qatar Airways issued a statement on Wednesday wherein it asserted that due to the ongoing situation on the India-Pakistan border, its flights to the airports in Faisalabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and, Sialkot stand temporarily suspended.

The Indian action was in retaliation to a suicide attack on February 14 in Kashmir, which left at least 40 paramilitary soldiers dead.

Pakistan says the Indian fighters were confronted before they could reach Balakot and dropped four to five bombs in an open field as they fled back across the border.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that they are ready to hold talks with India.

In conventional terms, India's armed forces are numerically superior in both troops and equipment, making it likely that they would overpower Pakistan's defences if New Delhi ordered a large-scale assault.

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's Civil Aviation Authority says it has shut its airspace to all commercial flights as tensions with neighboring India escalate further over the disputed region of Kashmir. "I'm sorry I don't quite get it, could you please explain" he said according to sources close to The Dependent.

On Wednesday, Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian Air Force jets, and had captured two pilots.

In a statement from Pakistan's Foreign Ministry released on Wednesday, officials the air force "undertook strikes" across the unofficial demarcation that divides Kashmir between Indian and Pakistani areas of control.

Indian police also said officials recovered six bodies from the wreckage of an Indian air force helicopter that crashed in Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir. Some urged both governments to be cautious and avoid further provocation, but many blamed India for the escalation and expressed defiant bravado.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "You have two nuclear powers who have a long history of tension squaring up against each other and now the start of some kind of military conflict".

It said the strikes were aimed at a "non-military target", adding: "We have no intention of escalation".

India has confirmed one of its planes was shot down by Pakistani planes and a pilot is missing. It has no aircraft on the ground in India and all flights from India to Canada have returned as scheduled, she said. It was a testy moment after an even testier day, one that served only to heighten existing tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

The Pakistani government strongly denies the claim.

India's UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin told Reuters on Wednesday: "Our efforts are focused on countering terrorism and we are working with many global partners in pursuit of that objective". "Let's sit together and settle this with talks", he added.

Both countries accused the other of invading rival airspace. "A dossier was handed over to Pakistan side with specific details of JeM complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan." the MEA said.

Hussain reported from Srinagar, India.

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