MIRPUR – Pakistan Army on Saturday shot down an Indian spy drone over the Line of Control (LoC), said a statement released by the military's media wing.
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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Thursday said Pakistan remains committed to peace while resolute in defence of its sovereignty.
“We are at the crossroads of history,” the finance minister stated. Umar stressed, “Leadership of India and Pakistan need to decide if we want to lead our nations towards peace and prosperity or conflict.””Pakistan remains committed to peace while resolute in defence of our sovereignty,for which we have demonstrated both our capacity and will,” he asserted.Tensions between Pakistan and India have heightened after New Delhi without any proof blamed Pakistan for harbouring terrorists behind the Pulwama attack. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in response called for dialogue and urged India to provide actionable intelligence.
On Tuesday, Indian military aircraft had violated the LoC as they “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force.Pakistan on Wednesday confirmed it had shot down two Indian aircraft which had crossed over the Line of Control (LoC) and taken one Indian pilot in custody.Prime Minister Imran Khan in his speech on Wednesday once again invited India for talks, stressing “better sense should prevail.” Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor also called on the international community to play its role.“Pakistan is sending a message of peace and they [international community] should also come forward and see how the environment between India and Pakistan are a threat to peace and development not only to the two countries but the region and beyond,” DG ISPR said.
India said Pakistan violated the 2003 ceasefire agreement thrice on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and Rajouri districts, for the seventh consecutive day, as tension between the neighbouring countries escalated to the worst in years.
Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said the latest firing came at 2:15pm in Rajouri’s Nowshera sector.
Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with mortars and firing of small arms along LoC in Nowshera Sector. The Indian Army is retaliating effectively, Lt Col Anand said.Earlier in the day, Pakistan fired along the LoC in the Krishna Ghati sector at 6am, drawing strong retaliation from the Indian Army. The firing continued till 7am, Lt Col Anand had said.
The firing started again at 1pm in Krishna Ghati Sector of Poonch, he had said.The firings by Pakistan came a day after the air forces of both the neighbours claimed to have downed each other’s fighter jets.Pakistan also captured Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.Also read: First aerial dogfight in 48 years escalates India-Pakistan tensionsPakistan has been violating the 2003 ceasefire agreement and had at least five Indian soldiers were injured on Tuesday as its troops fired across the LoC at several areas in Jammu and Kashmir.
The tension between India and Pakistan has escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed rammed his explosive-laden car and blew up a bus killing 40 CRPF troopers on February 14.India has accused Pakistan of using its air force to target Indian military installations on Wednesday morning in response to pre-dawn counter-terror strikes of Tuesday against Jaish-e-Mohammad camps in Pakistan.
India and Pakistan summoned each other’s envoys on Wednesday over the tension.Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah, who was summoned to the South Block in New Delhi, told Indian officials about capturing of an Indian pilot by Pakistani authorities.In Islamabad, Pakistan’s foreign office also summoned India’s acting high commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned what it called unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces along the Line of Control resulting in the killing of four of its civilians.Villagers along the 744-km long Line of Control and 198-km International Border in Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts in Jammu region and in Baramulla district in Kashmir Valley say they have been living in fear following the firings.
Authorities have ordered all government and private schools within a range five km from International Border in Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch to remain closed on Thursday.They said the situation is tense but no one has migrated so far from Jammu, Samba and Rajouri districts but some families from Chajala Pathri, a village close to the LoC in Poonch, have shifted to safer areas.However, district commissioners of Rajouri and Poonch said there has been no migration as yet.A report by news agency PTI has said that 2018 witnessed the highest number of ceasefire violations 2,936 by Pakistani troops in the last 15 years along the India-Pakistan border.
Pakistan continues to violate the ceasefire understanding of 2003 despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the agreement during flag meetings between the border guarding forces of the two countries.World powers have urged restraint as tensions escalated this week after the February 14 suicide car bombing in Pulwama.
US president Donald Trump said on Thursday he hoped the conflict between India and Pakistan will be coming to an end.Also read: We have reasonably decent’ news from India and Pak, says TrumpPakistan’s ambassador to the United States, however, voiced regret that America has not condemned India’s air incursion, saying the stance emboldened New Delhi.Asad Majeed Khan said the US should have pinned blame on India. It is construed and understood as an endorsement of the Indian position and that is what emboldened them even more, Khan told reporters when asked about the US statement.
PAF carries out warning strikes into IOK, shoots down two Indian jets | FO asks India to act mature and give peace a chance Swaraj softens position, says New Delhi does not want escalation with Islamabad.
The enemy planes were hunted down in the morning when they crossed into Azad Kashmir area while chasing Pakistan Air Force jets flying near the Line of Control (LoC) as part of a mission to demonstrate their strike capability to a boastful and arrogant enemy.He said the whole episode started with the promised Pakistani response to the India’s Tuesday aggression, wherein the IAF [Indian Air Force] fighter planes violated the LoC and dropped payloads in Balakot area in a hurry upon being pursued by PAF aircraft.As part of their mind-it-India mission, PAF engaged six targets from across the LoC in Occupied Kashmir on Wednesday morning.
All the six targets were in fact open spaces near Indian military and administrative installation.He explained that the purpose of the strikes was just to make it clear to the enemy that Pakistan forces have capacity, capability, will and resolve to respond and hit them at places they cannot even imagine.The payloads were dropped at the open spaces to ensure that no causality happens in the process, the DG ISPR said.We kept in mind that no collateral damage is caused.
Therefore, keeping within our own air space, we selected Bhimber Gali, PG Top and Naryan area targets, our pilots locked those target. When they had an option to fire, they manifested responsibility and keeping safety engaged the targets in an open area.The spokesman said that it was not retaliation but we needed to manifest that Pakistan has the capability and could do it.Major General Asif Ghafoor went on to say that after taking the targets, two Indian aircraft violated LoC and entered into Pakistani territory and PAF engaged and shot them down, with debris of one falling inside Pakistan’s territory and the other in the Occupied Kashmir.
Consequently, one Indian pilot was taken into custody and is being treated properly, the officer said.Earlier in the day, India also claimed of shooting down an F-16 fighter plane of Pakistan.
But Pakistan chief military spokesperson categorically rejected the Indian claim arguing that not even a single F-16 was engaged in the action.The DG ISPR said Pakistan armed forces and PAF had no option but to respond in self defence to the aggression India had committed a day earlier.
We wanted to show to Indians that we are capable of doing all things, but not at the cost of regional peace. We are a peaceful country and do not want to go to war and have been exercising restraint to avoid escalating the situation.
Maj Gen Ghafoor said Pakistan had always conveyed peace to India and the way to it passes through dialogue.He however made it clear, If aggression was imposed on us we will definitely give a response under compulsion.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has already made it clear that it is easy to start war but difficult to conclude it and We do not want to escalate and are pursuing path of peace.DG ISPR said it is also the responsibility of the international community to come forward and play its role as the war will cause irreparable damage to both the countries as well as the region.
He emphasised that people of both countries as well as the region need to live in peace.He said the Pakistani media opted for peace journalism.Our action was in self defence and we do not want to indicate any kind of victory. Nobody wins or loses a war.It is the humanity that ultimately loses. Therefore, I request media to continue objective reporting that leads to peace.
When a war is imposed on us, the reporting of that time will be different.Asked about the use of any nuclear arsenal, he stated, I have always said, we must not talk about this.This is insane to talk about this. It is a capability and a weapon of political choice.
Neither is it our level nor a subject to be talked about.Pakistan’s Foreign Office also issued a statement condoning ISPR’s version of events and making it clear that Islamabad did not seek to escalate tension with India but reserved the right to respond to any aggression.India’s positionAfter denying the news of their losses for hours, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) finally admitted later in the day that one of their MiG-21s was shot down by Pakistan and its pilot was missing.Addressing a press conference, a spokesperson for the Indian MEA said, We unfortunately lost one MiG-21 in this engagement and an Indian pilot is missing in action.
Pakistan claims the pilot is in their custody, however we are ascertaining the facts.India media reports meanwhile said, IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhi Nandan took off in a MiG 21 Bison jet and is yet to return.
Abhi Nandan is the son of a retired Indian Air Marshal, the reports added.A video of the captured Indian pilot released on social media showed him saying: My name is Wing Commander Abhi Nandan.My service number is 27981. I am a flying pilot.
My religion is Hindu.Initial reports suggested that another Indian pilot was arrested in an injured state and taken to CMH for treatment.But later it emerged that only Abhinandan was arrested from the crash site.Softening of Indian positionAfter its armed forces had to lick the dust on Wednesday, India sought to ease soaring tensions with Pakistan with its Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj saying the country does not wish to see further escalation of the situation.
Swaraj, who is in China with her counterparts from Beijing and Moscow, termed Tuesday’s strikes by Indian aircraft within the Pakistani airspace as pre-emptive’ and said India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint.India does not wish to see further escalation of this situation.
India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint, she said.This new posture appeared in stark contrast to the series of threats by Indian political and military leadership to Pakistan following the Pulwama suicide attack, which was carried out by a Kashmiri youth in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.
FO statementPakistan’s Foreign Office also issued a statement on the Wednesday episode saying PAF undertook the strikes across the LOC from within Pakistani airspace.This was not retaliation to continued Indian belligerence.
Pakistan has taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage, it said, adding that strikes were made to demonstrate country’s 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, it warned.
Pakistan undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight, the statement said.The Foreign Office said for the past 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 the 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.It said, We wish that India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation.
Background of skirmishesIndia has been seething since February 14 when a young Kashmiri, believed to be associated with the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), drove a car full of explosives in a military convoy in the Pulwama area of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), killing nearly four dozen troops in an attack described as the deadliest in the region’s history.New Delhi blamed Pakistan of orchestrating and backing the attack.
Islamabad strongly rejected the allegations and offered all help in investigation of the incident.On Tuesday India went on carrying out a sort of revenge attack.It claimed that its warplanes launched pre-dawn air strikes, flattening the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) in Balakot area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and killing 350 terrorists.Indian media started thumping chest soon after Delhi claimed the IAF strikes.
But Pakistan called the claim reckless and fictitious’, saying that no such camp existed in that area and the Indian planes had in fact dropped payload in a non-populated space in the woods.Pakistan’s civil and military leadership also 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.The airspace violation by Indian jets capped 12 days of bitter exchanges between the two nuclear-armed hostile neighbours, triggering international alarm, with China and the European Union calling for both sides to show restraint
SIALKOT/ISLAMABAD: India’s border forces resorted to heavy fire along the Line of Control (LoC) leaving at least six civilians including a woman dead and 11 others wounded in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday evening.
While Pakistan on Wednesday summoned Indian envoy and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the LoC on February 26, which resulted in the martyrdom of four innocent civilians and injuries to six others.Civilians are being ruthlessly targeted by Indian forces without any provocation while Sialkot sector on the LoC between Pakistan and India has turned into a massive battlefield with casualties being reported from both sides.The four deaths reported by local newspaper came as a result of intense and indiscriminate shelling which began at about 5:30pm simultaneously in Kotli, Bhimber and Poonch districts of the AJK.
At least five civilians including three of the same family were killed in Nakiyal Sector after the Indian troops opened unprovoked firing at the residential areas along with the LoC.Deputy Director of international think tank ICTC F Jeffery earlier revealed the breaking news quoting Pakistani security sources in a tweet on Tuesday.
The security expert tweeted that Indian forces including all Indian bases in Jammu Kashmir were currently on high alert in anticipation of a possible Pakistani strike.Pakistan on Wednesday summoned Indian Acting High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control (LoC) on February 26, in Nikial and Khuiratta sectors which resulted in the martyrdom of four innocent civilians and injuries to six others.
The civilians martyred included Mottia Bibi, Ms Zarina, Gulfaraz and Ms Shehnaz.According to a Foreign Office statement, Director General (SA & Saarc) Dr Mohammad asked the Indian envoy that India should respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement, investigate the incidents of violations, instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit, and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB).
The Director General (SA & Saarc) demanded that the Indian side should permit United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.According to the statement, the Indian forces along the LoC and the WB were continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy weapons.
This unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India was continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 violations, it added.The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws.
The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation, the statement maintained.SIALKOT/ISLAMABAD: India’s border forces resorted to heavy fire along the Line of Control (LoC) leaving at least six civilians including a woman dead and 11 others wounded in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday evening.
While Pakistan on Wednesday summoned Indian envoy and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the LoC on February 26, which resulted in the martyrdom of four innocent civilians and injuries to six others.
Civilians are being ruthlessly targeted by Indian forces without any provocation while Sialkot sector on the LoC between Pakistan and India has turned into a massive battlefield with casualties being reported from both sides.
The four deaths reported by local newspaper came as a result of intense and indiscriminate shelling which began at about 5:30pm simultaneously in Kotli, Bhimber and Poonch districts of the AJK.At least five civilians including three of the same family were killed in Nakiyal Sector after the Indian troops opened unprovoked firing at the residential areas along with the LoC.
Deputy Director of international think tank ICTC F Jeffery earlier revealed the breaking news quoting Pakistani security sources in a tweet on Tuesday.The security expert tweeted that Indian forces including all Indian bases in Jammu Kashmir were currently on high alert in anticipation of a possible Pakistani strike.
Pakistan on Wednesday summoned Indian Acting High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control (LoC) on February 26, in Nikial and Khuiratta sectors which resulted in the martyrdom of four innocent civilians and injuries to six others.The civilians martyred included Mottia Bibi, Ms Zarina, Gulfaraz and Ms Shehnaz.
According to a Foreign Office statement, Director General (SA & Saarc) Dr Mohammad asked the Indian envoy that India should respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement, investigate the incidents of violations, instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit, and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB).The Director General (SA & Saarc) demanded that the Indian side should permit United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.
According to the statement, the Indian forces along the LoC and the WB were continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy weapons. This unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India was continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 violations, it added.“The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” the statement maintained.
MUZAFFARABAD: Mohammad Razzaq Chaudhry was in the courtyard of his house in Horra'n village, located barely 7km from the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir's Bhimber district, at about 8:45am on Wednesday when the “smoke and …
At a time when India is busy lauding its air force for the early morning strike on Pakistan-based terror camps on February 26, one person seems especially happy and proud about it and remembers how the strike could have been carried out even after,
Mohonto Panging, a former Indian Air Force officer who was a Wing Commander at the time of the Mumbai attacks, has revealed that the IAF was deployed and ready to hit terror camps in Pakistan’s Muzzafarrabad in 2008 as well.
However, the armed forces couldn’t carry out the operation as an approval from the government never came.The IAF is known to have demolished multiple terror camps in Pakistan in a pre-dawn operation that lasted for 20 minutes on Tuesday.
It has been said that 12 Mirage 2000 jets were a part of the strike and dropped about 1,000-kilogram of laser-guided bombs on terror camps. “At 0330 hours on 26th February, a group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it,” ANI reported.After the strike, Panging took to and hailed the armed forces for the successful operation. “Finally terrorist camps in POK hit by Laser Guided Bombs from IAF Mirage 2000.We were about to hit POK camps in Muzzafarrabad after Mumbai attacks in 2008. Finally the Govt did not decide.
Der Aye Par Durusht Aaye. Cheers!!” he wrote.
The former IAF officer then added that if the IAF had struck the terror camps in 2008, India may not have lost so many lives to terrorism.”As Air Warriors, IAF was prepared for Surgical Strikes at POK Camps after the Mumbai attacks in 2008 also, but the go ahead did not come.If the go ahead had come, maybe we would not have lost so many Indian lives to cross border terrorism! IF ONLY.!!” he said.
The retired officer, who is now an entrepreneur, author, and columnist, also spoke to the Times of India and said that he was, at the time, leading the Sukhoi squadron and the forces had a plan in place for the strike. “It was a secret plan and I had lied to my boys that we were going to different place.it’s a long story. We were deployed and waited in all readiness to strike for nearly one month but the government did not approve it,” he told the daily.This is not the first instance that the government has been indecisive about retaliatory attacks on terrorists. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh often received the ire of the opposition and people in general for being hesistant to act against terrorism.
Singh is also said to have been indecisive about the response to the 2001 Parliament attacks. The BJP too has, in the past, called Singh an “indecisive” PM who would take tough measures to counter terrorism issues.”India needs an effective leader. It has suffered because of an indecisive prime minister.It needs a strong government,” the BJP had once said. “The impact of cross-border terrorism is now being increasingly felt even outside Jammu & Kashmir.
The lowering of guard by the UPA has resulted in an increase in the number of attacks.”Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee too received flak for being hesistant and a tad slow in dealing with the Kandahar hijack.
The December 1999 hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC 814 involved five terrorists, who demanded the release of Maulana Masood Azhar and few others. After hours of discussion, the Vajpayee government was forced to release three terrorists and save the lives of 176 passengers and 15 crew members.Meanwhile, former Deputy National Security Advisor Leela K Ponappa also believes that such a strike should have been carried out after the 26/11 attacks and that Tuesday attack was an act of “self-defence,” reported News18.The strike on February 26 was in response to the February 14 Pulwama attack, in which about 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives and scores of others were injured.
An Indian Air Force wing commander identified as Arvind Sinha committed suicide as he shot himself with a double barrel gun on Tuesday.
While investigations to probe the matter are underway, reason behind Arvind’s suicide remain unclear.According to Indian media, the deceased was posted as Defence Ministry PRO in Prayagraj. No suicide note was recovered by the police.The 43-year-old commander was reportedly having severe personal issues with family and career, according to inspector Dhumanjanj Sandeep Mishra.The wife of air force official, Pooja, said during the preliminary investigation that the officer was stressed out due to the job.
Meanwhile, police is investigating to ascertain the real cause of Arvind’s suicide. The IAF official’s suicide has come on the same day the Indian government and Air Force claimed to have violated the Pakistani airspace and ‘destroyed the prime base camps of Jaish-e-Mohammad’ near Pakistan’s Bala Kote near Muzaffarabad along the Line of Control (LoC).On the other hand, DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the Indian intrusion in Pakistani territory has so far only injured one person with no major casualties reported.