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Pakistan Claims it shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace; 1 pilot arrested

In a baffling unfolding of the events in the aftermath of Indian airstrikes inside Pakistan on 26th February, Pakistan is claiming it shot down two Indian aircraft ‘inside Pakistani airspace’. Pakistan also claims that it has arrested one pilot.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), confirmed the action, adding that “in response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF [Indian Air Force] crossed LoC.”

“PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K [Azad Jammu and Kashmir] while other fell inside IoK [Indian occupied Kashmir]. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on the ground while two in the area.”

“Pakistan has taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage,” said a statement by the Foreign Office. “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,” the statement added.

A day earlier, the army spokesperson said that the prime minister had asked everyone to get ready for every eventuality. “We are all ready. Now it is time for India to wait for our response,” he asserted.

“The response will come at a point and time of our choosing where our civil-military leadership decides, and as a matter of fact, has decided,” he had said, reiterating the statement issued after the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting convened by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

This confirmation has come from Pakistan DGISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations Pakistan) and has a grave implication for peace in Indian Subcontinent. While it has been confirmed that an aircraft has indeed crashed in Budgam in J&K.

How true are the claims by Pakistan?

While further news is awaited and Dawan is reporting the incident from the Pakistani side, Indian confirmation is still awaited.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh is holding a high-level meeting at North block. At this moment it seems that Pakistan has indeed crossed a red line. There is a crashed aircraft and high-level meetings are being held in India. Furthermore, Pakistan has claimed to have arrested one pilot. It is very difficult to lie and demonstrate that a pilot has been arrested.

Keep watching for the fastest update on this event and India’s confirmation and response.

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