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India-Pakistan standoff intensifies: IAF pilot captured after air combat; Pak F-16 shot down, India loses a MiG-21

The stand off between India and Pakistan intensified on Wednesday even as the world continued to advise restraint while the two nations shot down each other's fighter jets.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: February 27, 2019 23:47 IST
India-Pakistan standoff intensifies: IAF pilot captured

India-Pakistan standoff intensifies: IAF pilot captured after air combat; Pak F-16 shot down, India loses a MiG-21 

The standoff between India and Pakistan intensified on Wednesday even as the world continued to advise restraint while the two nations shot down each other's fighter jets. An IAF pilot was captured by Pakistan after his MiG-21 crashed during an air combat with Pak F-16 which had entered Indian airspace in the morning. India has demanded an immediate and safe return of the pilot as per the Geneva convention. 

Here is a look at the top developments through the day: 

1) India shoots down Pak plane: Indian Air Force shot down a Pakistan's F-16 fighter jet which had intruded into Indian airspace, violating the aerial engagement between India and Pakistan for the first time since the 1971 war. Pakistan has denied losing a jet.

2) Indian pilot captured by Pak: In the aerial combat, India lost a MiG-21. The pilot had ejected safely before the crash, but he landed inside the Pakistani side of the Line of Control and was eventually captured by Pak troops. 

3) Pakistani U-turn: Pakistan army's official spokesperson first claimed that they had shot down two Indian Air Force jets, which had entered their aerial space. The DGISPR of Pak armed forces also claimed that two Indian pilots were in their custody. However, they later retracted their statement and said that only one pilot was detained by them and was being treated with full military ethics as per law. 

4) Pakistan issues graphic videos of IAF pilot: Through the day Pakistan continued to release graphics videos of captured IAF pilot in bloodied condition, In one video he was being beaten by a mob, in another, he was being interrogated even while he bled from crash injuries. Pak army wraped up the day of propoganda videos with one where the IAF pilot is shown is good health having tea. 

5) India demands safe return of captured pilot: The Ministry of External Affairs summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah and demanded immediate and safe return of the pilot identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. It was also made clear to Pakistan that no harm should be caused to the Indian defence personnel, the ministry said, adding it has conveyed strong objection to the neighbouring country at the "vulgar display" of an injured personnel in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.

6) Right to protect national security: In a strongly worded statement, the MEA also told the envoy that India reserves the right to take "firm and decisive action to protect its national security".  While, in a similar statement Pakistan claimed that its air force had attacked the open spaces in India to show that they can retailiate but do not want war. "It was not retaliation in the true sense but it was an action to show that we can retaliate. We do not want to push the region to war. We want peace," Pakistani military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said while claiming that PAF jets had bombed six targets across LoC while staying within Pak air space. 

7) Pak PM Imran Khan's request for dialogue: In a televised address, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan sought to defuse the escalating tension by saying war is futile and can lead to unknown consequences while making an oblique reference to the nuclear weapons that both countries possess. "I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford a miscalculation? If this (situation) escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi's," Khan said in a live television broadcast, as he offered to hold talks with India to resolve issues.

8) Defence chiefs brief PM Modi: As India mounted pressure of Pakistan to release IAF pilot as soon as possible, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given an update on the latest security situation by the chiefs of the three armed forces following violation of Indian airspace by Pakistani fighter jets in Jammu and Kashmir and the capture of the Indian pilot across the LoC, sources said. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, senior officials of the Indian Navy, Army and the Air Force and other security officials also had a meeting to discuss the current security situation, they said.

India Tv - There was no movement in Pak air space today as the country suspended access to international flights following escalated tensions with India

Image Source : FLIGHTRADAR24

There was no movement in Pak air space today as the country suspended access to international flights following escalated tensions with India

9) Suspended civil aviation operations: As tension mounted, the entire airspace north of New Delhi was briefly "vacated". Nine airports in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab were closed for civilian traffic for some part of the morning but opened later in the day. Pakistan has also suspended all civil aviation operations has denied permission to international flights to use its aerial space. Air Canada has suspended all flights to and from India following air restriction, while several other airlines are seeking alternate routes. 

10) World advises caution: The dramatic escalation of the confrontation between India and Pakistan prompted world leaders to urge the two neighbouring countries to exercise "utmost restraint". EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini called on India and Pakistan to show the "utmost restraint" in their escalating confrontation. British Prime Minister Theresa May also urged both the countries to exercise restraint to avoid further escalation.

India Tv - Security increased in national capital: A red alert has been issued across Delhi metro network as well. 

Image Source : CISF INDIA

Security increased in national capital: A red alert has been issued across Delhi metro network as well. 

11) Security increased in national capital: Security has been bolstered across the national capital amid hightened tension between India and Pakistan, police said. At a meeting chaired by Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik on Tuesday, all police officers were instructed to increase vigil in their respective districts. Patrolling and surveillance have been enhanced in sensitive areas, including railways stations, bus terminals, shopping malls, government institutions and at the national capital's borders, a senior police officer said. Vehicles entering the national capital from the neighbouring states are being checked, the officer said. People have also been sensitised about threats in high footfall areas and are requested to contact police if they come across anything suspicious, police said.

(With inputs from agencies)

Watch full coverage of the day's development in India TV's prime time show Aaj ki Baat with Rajat Sharma

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