NEW DELHI – Official representatives of the Armed Forces of India declared the Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft, which had previously invaded Indian airspace, over the disputed Kashmir region. Also reported on another Pakistani Air Force aircraft, which the Indian military aircraft “forced” to leave the sky over the Indian sector of Kashmir, reports the publication Times of India.
The report claims that the Pakistani F-16 was shot down over the Jangar region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.Military tensions in the region of Kashmir disputed between India and Pakistan is growing. On the morning of February 27, the parties exchanged air strikes and mortar shelling, which, according to Islamabad, were six residents of the Pakistani Kashmir sector.
Earlier today on Wednesday the 27th, Pakistani air forces launched air strikes on the territory of Kashmir controlled by India and shot down two Indian military aircraft in the country’s airspace. One of the planes fell on the Indian territory of Kashmir, the second – in the sector of the region controlled by Pakistan. The pilot of the second aircraft was captured, clarified by the Pakistani command.
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) February 27, 2019
There were also reports of India shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet. However, Islamabad dismissed them as false. Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Pakistani Army stated that the military was acting “purely in self-defense.”
“War is no solution. The people of both nations deserve to live in peace,” Asif Ghafoor said.
Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, while on a trip to China, stated New Delhi wishes to avoid any “further escalation of the situation” and will “continue to act with responsibility and restraint.”
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated dramatically on Wednesday with reports of cross-border shelling along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Pakistani officials said that at least four civilians were killed from mortar fire. The Indian Army said that five of its soldiers were wounded during the shelling from Pakistan.
On Tuesday, New Delhi sent a dozen jets to bomb what it said were terrorist camps on Pakistani soil. It was the first time since 1971, when the Indian Air Force crossed the LoC. Islamabad said that the raid failed to produce any damage on the ground and vowed to respond to any “misadventures” along the border with India. New Delhi claimed that upwards of 300 terrorists were killed in the attack, and several of their bases neutralized.
FRN still awaits further evidence to confirm the claims of New Delhi.
Two people were killed after an Indian Mi-17 helicopter crashed on a field in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir on Wednesday, police said as cited by local media. The crash comes amid spiraling tensions with Pakistan.
The helicopter apparently went down near Budgam in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. At least two bodies were found at the site. Earlier reports indicated that the crashed aircraft was a jet. It is not clear what led to the crash.
On February 14th India was hit by a suicide-bombing which took place inside Jammu and Kashmir. The suicide attack targeted a convoy of security personnel vehicles, killing at least 42 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist group called Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). JeM’s main goal is to steal Kashmir away from India and unite it with Pakistan, to ensure that Pakistan is ruled by Sharia law, and to drive Western forces out of Afghanistan. Its other eventual priority is to drive all Hindus and non-Muslims from the Indian subcontinent.
Officially, the Islamabad government opposes the terrorist activity of JeM, but the country’s leadership has failed to reign them in – the aims of the terrorist group happens to line up with the official view of Islamabad insofar as the territorial dispute is concerned.
The attack on February 14th received such negative publicity that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), finally agreed and identified India as a victim of terrorism and asked member states to cooperate actively with New Delhi to bring these attackers to justice.
After New Delhi saw, in its view, that no substantive action was taken, it authorized its air-force to engage in yesterday’s pre-dawn sorties. Since then, there have been numerous skirmishes between the two rival states’ air-forces and air-defense systems. FRN will be closely monitoring this story as it develops.