Pakistan-India: Pakistan 'shoots down two Indian jets' over Kashmir
[February 27 2019]
government image puporting to show
wreckage from one of the downed jets
Pakistan says it has shot down two Indian Air Force
jets in a major escalation of the Kashmir conflict.
A spokesman said one plane had fallen inside Pakistani
territory and two pilots had been captured. India has not yet given
details. Pakistan has denied reports one of its jets was shot down.
Both India and Pakistan claim all of Kashmir, but
control only parts of it.
The nuclear powers have fought three wars since
independence from Britain in 1947. All but one were over Kashmir.
The aerial attacks across the Line of Control (LoC)
dividing Indian and Pakistani territory are the first since a war in
They follow a militant attack in Kashmir which killed
40 Indian troops - the deadliest to take place during a three-decade
insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir. A Pakistan-based group said
it carried out the attack.
The BBC's Soutik Biswas, in Delhi, says the challenge
for India and Pakistan now is to contain the latest escalation before
things get completely out of control.
What's the latest?
Pakistan's information ministry published but
subsequently deleted a video purporting to show one of the Indian pilots
that the Pakistani military says it has captured.
In the video, the pilot - who is blindfolded and
appears to have blood on his face - identifies himself as Wing-Commander
information ministry tweeted a video purporting to show a
captured Indian pilot
The ministry also tweeted what it said was footage of
one of the downed Indian jets.
Pakistan's assertion that it had shot down two Indian
aircraft came shortly after Islamabad said its warplanes had struck
targets in Indian territory.
Pakistan said it had "taken strikes at [a]
non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage".
Indian authorities said the Pakistani jets had been
In a briefing, Maj Gen Ghafoor said that Pakistan "had
no alternative to respond" to Tuesday's Indian air strikes on its
However he said Pakistan had not hit Indian military
targets because "we don't want to go on the path of war".
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has also said
that her country will act "with responsibility and restraint".
"India does not wish to see further escalation of the
situation," she said, speaking from a meeting with Russian and Chinese
foreign ministers in China.
India said Tuesday's air strikes on Balakot in
north-western Pakistan killed a large number of militants but Pakistan
said there had been no casualties.
The US, EU and China have all called for restraint.
Are flights affected?
Pakistan has closed its entire airspace, its civil
aviation authority said. Nine airports in northern India have been
closed, reports in India said
The flight monitoring group Flight Radar says
international flights are also avoiding the area.
'These are uncharted waters'
By Soutik Biswas, BBC News, Delhi
The challenge for India and Pakistan now is to contain
the escalation before things get completely out of control.
It is almost unprecedented for two nuclear-armed
countries to carry out air strikes into each other's territories.
"We are in uncharted waters," Husain Haqqani, the
former Pakistani ambassador to the US and adviser to three Pakistani
prime ministers, told me late on Tuesday.
An Indian defence analyst believes Indian security
forces will now have to be prepared for a "full spectrum of conflict".
However Daniel Markey from Johns Hopkins University in
the US says we are "several steps away" from nuclear escalation.
A further escalation, he believes, will happen if
Pakistan's "next step were to raise the stakes by hitting Indian
That is highly unlikely.
Read more from Soutik on this story
What else is happening?
Troops have been shelling across the LoC. Four
Pakistani civilians were killed and 10 others were injured in
cross-border shelling on Tuesday.
On the Indian side, five soldiers were also injured in
the firing, officials told the BBC. Schools in at least two districts
along the LoC - Rajouri and Poonch - have been closed.
People living along the de facto border have been
asked to leave their homes.
Timeline of India-Pakistan tensions
October 1947: First war between India and Pakistan
over Kashmir just two months after they become independent nations.
August 1965: The neighbours fight another brief war
December 1971: India supports East Pakistan's bid to
become independent. The Indian air force conducts bombing raids inside
Pakistan. The war ends with the creation of Bangladesh.
May 1999: Pakistani soldiers and militants occupy
Indian military posts in Kargil mountains. India launches air and ground
strikes and the intruders are pushed back.
October 2001: A devastating attack on the state
assembly in Indian-administered Kashmir kills 38. Two months later, an
attack on the Indian parliament in Delhi leaves 14 dead.
November 2008: Co-ordinated attacks on Mumbai's main
railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural centre kill 166
people. India blames Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
January 2016: Four-day attack on Indian air base in
Pathankot leaves seven Indian soldiers and six militants dead.
18 September 2016: Attack on army base in Uri in
Indian-administered Kashmir kills 19 soldiers.
30 September 2016: India says it carried "surgical
strikes" on militants in Pakistani Kashmir. Islamabad denies strikes
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