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India-Pakistan standoff: Security heightened across Delhi; defence chiefs brief PM Modi | Highlights

India-Pakistan standoff intensifies: Indian Army has secured the Pathankot-Jammu highway amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan. Prior, the Indian Air Force shot down Pakistani F-16 fighter jet after it violated the Indian air space in Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The situation between India and Pakistan continues to be tense. Stay tuned with us as we bring to you the latest updates from India-Pakistan standoff:

Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: February 27, 2019 23:48 IST
India-Pakistan standoff Live: Red alert sounded across
Image Source : CISF/TWITTER

India-Pakistan standoff Live: Red alert sounded across Delhi Metro network

09:44 pm: Security increased in national capital 

Security has been bolstered across the national capital amid heightened 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.

09:35 pm: Air Canada: Due the closure of Pakistani airspace by its government, Air Canada has temporarily suspended service to India.

08:30 pm: Red alert sounded across Delhi Metro network

A red alert was sounded for the entire Delhi Metro network on Wednesday by the DMRC, in view of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. "As advised by security agencies, a red alert has been imposed on the entire DMRC network from 6 pm onwards," a senior DMRC official said.

The Delhi Metro's current operational span is 327 km with 236 stations, in Delhi and neighbouring cities. "After a red alert is sounded, all station controllers are required to inspect entire station premises for any suspicious items or activity, including in parking lots, and report to the control centre every two hours," he said. The move comes in the wake of escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. 

08:00 pm: 3 defence chiefs meet PM Modi, brief him about security scenario

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with three defence chiefs has ended. During the meeting, held at PM residence in New Delhi, the IAF, Army and Navy chiefs briefed PM Modi about the developments in the security scenario. Earlier in the day, top security and intelligence officials went into a huddle at the prime minister's office in the wake of fresh developments that followed India's airstrike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, senior officials of the Navy, the Army and the Air Force and other officers had met to discuss the current security situation, they said. Top defence and security officials had later briefed the prime minister on the latest developments, including aerial confrontation in which one Pakistani jet and an IAF MiG 21 were shot down. 

Also read | Ratan Tata hails IAF for strikes against terror camps in Pakistan

07:00 pm: Ratan Tata congratulates PM, IAF for air strikes on terror camps

"We congratulate the PM and the IAF for the successful air strikes on the terrorist training camps which Pakistan has claimed never existed! India is proud of the firm action taken in retaliation to the suicide attack on our soldiers a few days ago. @narendramodi," Ratan Tata said in a tweet. 

06:24 pm: Army chief Bipin Rawat reaches 7 Lok Manya Tilak Marg to meet PM Modi

06:20 pm: Pakistan army once again violates ceasefire along the line of control in the Mankote area in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district. Indian side is retaliating effectively. Heavy firing on.

06:50 pm: India expects immediate and safe return of IAF pilot, MEA tells Pak envoy

The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned this afternoon by MEA to lodge a strong protest at the unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India earlier today, including by violation of the Indian air space by Pakistan Air Force and targeting of Indian military posts. 

India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return, the statement said. 

Also read | India summons Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner, lodges protest

06:31 pm: Pak Army retracts; says there is only one Indian pilot under its custody

In yet another U-turn, Pakistan army has retracted its claim that it had two Indian pilots in its custody. In a fresh statement, Pak Army has now claimed that it has detained only one Indian pilot. "There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd is being treated as per norms of military ethics," Pak army spokesperson Major Asif Ghafor said in a tweet. 

Earlier, MEA spokesperson had confirmed that the pilot of one IAF MiG-21 was missing after his jet was shot down during the attack on Pakistan's F-16 which had intruded in Indian air space this morning. MEA, however, said that Pakistan was yet to inform India formally about the pilot's detention as they have claimed in media. 

Pakistan has now claimed that the other pilot detained was their own. 

06:00 pm: Silence in Pak air space: 

International flights stayed off Pak air space today after the country closed it for commercial flights and indefinitely suspended flight operations at many of its major airports, in view of escalating tensions with India, Pakistan. According to news agency PTI, the country's Civil Aviation Authority announced this after its military's media arm - the Inter-Services Public Relations - acknowledged the development. Airports will be used solely for "military purposes" until it is reopened for commercial activities, an official told DawnNewsTV, adding that a red alert has also been issued. "All civilian flight operations have been suspended," he confirmed to the Pakistani television channel.

India Tv - International flights maintain distance from Pak air space

Image Source : FLIGHTRADAR24

International flights maintain distance from Pak air space

05:34 pm: We stand united with govt in action against culprits of Pulwama, says Rahul Gandhi after Opposition meet

The meeting of leaders of 21 political parties condemned the dastardly Pulwama attack by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed on 14th February 2019 and lauded the action taken by our armed forces,  Congress President Rahul Gandhi said after opposition meeting. 

He added:  Leaders condemned Pakistani misadventure and expressed deep concern for the safety of our missing pilot. Leaders urged govt to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India's sovereignty, unity and integrity.

05:30 pm: We stand with our armed forces in these difficult times: Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today expressed sorrow over the new sof a missing IAF pilot. 
"I’m sorry to hear that one of our brave IAF pilots is missing. I hope he will return home soon, unharmed. We stand by our armed forces in these difficult times," Gandhi said on Twitter. Earlier on the day of the IAF strike son Pakistan based terror camps, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted, I salute the pilots of the IAF.

05:15 pm: US asks Pakistan to take 'meaningful action' against terrorist groups

The US has firmly asked Pakistan to take "meaningful action" against terrorist groups operating on its soil after India's counter-terrorism action against it and asked the two neighbours to exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a phone call with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also called for avoiding military action. 

In a separate call with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Pompeo emphasised the close security partnership between the US and India and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region. 

"Following Indian counter-terrorism actions on February 26, I spoke with Indian Minister of External Affairs Swaraj to emphasise our close security partnership and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region," Pompeo said in a statement. "I also spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action, and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil," Pompeo said. 

"I expressed to both Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity," said the Secretary of State. 

05:00 pm: Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah summoned by Ministry of External Affairs

India summons Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner here; lodges strong protest over Pak Air Force attack on Indian military installations, informs MEA.

04:50 pm: Ex-Air Chief Marshal says airmen are equipped to deal with tragedies

Former Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy on a news channel: airmen, soldiers in uniform are familiar with tragedies, their duty is to fight for the nation and they will fight. There is a duty to be done and it will be done without flinching

03:57 pm: Pak PM Imran Khan issues another appeal to India for talks

Two Indian MiGs crossed the LoC and they were shot down, claims Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in live TV address, while reiterating that Islamabad was ready to cooperate with India over Kashmir suicide bombing investigation. Dialogue is the only way forward, Khan claimed in press briefing a few minutes ago. 

"All wars in world history have been miscalculated, those who started the wars did not know where it will end. So, I want to ask India, with the weapons you and we have, can we afford miscalculation?  If a war takes place, it will not be in my or Narendra Modi's control. If you want any kind of talks on terrorism, we are ready. Better sense must prevail. We should sit down and talk," Imran Khan said. 

Also read | Imran Khan: If war begins, it won't be in my or Narendra Modi's control

03:55 pm: Nepal expresses concerns over escalating tensions between India and Pakistan

The Government of Nepal is concerned about the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan following the terrorist attack on security convoy in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, 2019, Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. As current Chair of SAARC Nepal calls on both sides to exercise utmost restraint and not engage in actions that would threaten peace and security in the region; also urges them to seek solution through dialogue and peaceful means in order to ease tension, it said. 

03:45 pm: Sources say Pak yet to inform India formally about detaining Indian pilot, if at all they have him

Pakistan has not formally informed India about the detention of the pilot which it claims to have in its custody. Only one pilot is missing as opposed to Pakistan's claim of two being in their custody: Sources told ANI.  

Also read | Pakistan releases 46-second video; claims two Indian fighter jets shot, pilots arrested

03:30 pm: Services at the nine airports resumed

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered to resume services at nine airports, including Srinagar, Jammu and Leh, in north India. The services were temporarily suspended in view of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. 

"We are strictly following all guidelines of the Air Force, and we will continue to do that," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi. 

Asked how many flights have been impacted, Sinha said, "I don't have the number. But, as I said, we are following the instructions of the air force." 

Earlier on Wednesday, the DGCA issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM), saying flight operations at the airports in Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Pathankot, Amritsar, Shimla, Kangra, Kullu Manali and Pithoragarh will remain shut from February 27 to May 27.

Also read | India loses MiG 21 Bison fighter jet, pilot missing in action: MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

Latest Updates: Jammu-Pathankot highway secured by Army, IAF asked to be ready for positions

03:20 pm: MEA briefs media on Pak intrusion: 

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India successfully shot down one Pakistani F-16 fighter jet which had intruded in Indian airspace. The MEA spokesperson also said that the whereabouts of IAF's MiG-21 pilot were not known at the moment. The IAF jet had crashed earlier this morning. 

"One Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by Indian Air Force. In this engagement we have lost one MiG 21. Pilot is missing in action. Pakistan claims he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts," MEA Raveesh Kumar said in brief statement. 

India-Pakistan standoff intensifies: What happened so far

1. India shoots down Pakistan F-16 fighter jets

 2. Pakistan runs fake propaganda video of Indian aircraft being shot by their airforce

3. India secures Jammu highway

4. Amritsar, Jammu, Leh airport put in complete shutdown for commercial flights

 5. Pakistan shuts commercial flights from Lahore and Islamabad 6. Arun Jaitley says all things are possible, quotes US seals action on Osama

 7. MEA to brief media at 3.15 PM in New Delhi 8. Imran Khan also to brief media shortly in Islamabad

3.00 PM: Air India has said that it was avoiding Pakistan air space for all its flights now. Air India flights to Gulf countries, US and Europe normally take the route over Pakistan air space. 

2.48 PM: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has called an emergency meeting of top police officers. Rajasthan shares the border with Pakistan and the meeting is being called to discuss the safety and security of people at the border.  

2.45 PM: Security at the New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Air Port and airports in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata have been increased. 

2,45 PM: Security of Pakistan embassy in New Delhi's Chanakyapuri area increased. Delhi Polic locks down all roads leading to Pakistan High Commission in the national capital.  

2.40 PM: Radio Pakistan says Imran Khan will address the media shortly. 

2.40 PM: Ministry of External Affairs has convened a press briefing at 3.15 PM. 

2.34 PM: Indian government has called a Joint Opposition Meeting to discuss the fluid situation with Pakistan. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, top government ministers and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are present in the meeting. The meeting is being convened to discuss the Indian response to Pakistan's air space violation today morning. Indian Air Force has said that it shot down Pakistan's F-16 fighter jet after the violation of its air space. 

2:27 PM: The foreign ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments

2:25 PM: Foreign ministers of India, China and Russia strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations

2.20 PM: Dawn reports that Pakistani airspace has officially been closed for commercial flights. Pakistan's aviation authority made the announcement on Twitter after the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations, the military's media arm acknowledged the closure of Pakistan's airspace due to the prevailing security situation.

1.30 PM: Indian Army has secured the Pathankot-Jammu highway while the Indian Air Force has been asked to be on standby. India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley has warned Pakistan of something big today. Key airports like Srinagar, Jammu, Leh have been shut for all commercial flights. Pakistan has also shut down all commercial flights in Islamabad and Lahore airports. Private airlines have taken to Twitter to inform passengers about the cancelling of flights.

01:12 pm: Meanwhile, Pakistan media used old image of Indian aircraft claiming PAF shot it down. Read complete story here

01:00 pm: IAF's Su-30MKI aircraft chased Pakistan's F-16 fighter jet and shot it down

12:45 pm: Pakistan stops its domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports

12:28 pm: Flight operations have been suspended at Amritsar airport

12:18 pm: Commercial flight to Jammu, Srinagar suspended

12:04 pm: Pakistan Air Force's F-16 that violated Indian air space shot down in Indian retaliatory fire 3km inside Pakistan territory in Lam valley, Nowshera sector

11:47 am: Rajnath Singh holding high-level meeting after Pakistani jets violate Indian air space

11:30 am: India forces Pakistan jets to retreat as IAF Mig crashes after technical snag 

11:24 am: India puts multi commercial airlines on hold

11:23 am: IAF aircraft crashes in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam

11:22 am: Pakistani jets were forced to retreat after Indian aircraft chased them

11:21 am: According to the PTI report, the Pakistani fighter jets dropped bombs on way out

11:20 am: Pakistani fighter jets on Wednesday violated Indian air space in Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir, news agency PTI reported quoting officials.

Watch: Indian Air Force shoots down Pakistani F-16 in Naushera valley

After an air strike by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on a terrorist camp in Balakot, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called a meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) on Wednesday. NCA controls the country's nuclear arsenal. Imran Khan has also called a joint meeting of Parliament.

According to Pakistan Police, mortar shells fired by Indian troops from across the frontier in the Himalayan region of Kashmir have struck homes, killing six civilians and wounding several others amid increasing tensions between the two South Asian nuclear rivals.

In a pinpointed and swift air strike that lasted less than two minutes, India pounded Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp in Pakistan early Tuesday, killing up to 350 terrorists and trainers who were moved there for their protection after the Pulwama attack, officials said.

The pre-dawn operation described as "non-military" and "preemptive" struck a five-star resort-style camp on a hilltop forest that provided a dozen Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the IAF with a "sitting duck target" and caught the terrorists in their sleep, sources said.

After the 1971 war, the strike is the first by the IAF inside Pakistan.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is following the situation in the subcontinent where the Indian Air Force struck a terrorist base inside Pakistan territory and is calling for "maximum restraint" by both countries, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

Guterres is on his way back to New York from Geneva and Dujarric told reporters, "I spoke to the Secretary-General not long ago, before he boarded his plane. He is obviously following the situation very closely and reiterates his urgent appeal to both the government of India and the government of Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint to ensure that the situation does not further deteriorate".

Asked about reports that there were 350 casualties, Dujarric said, "We don't have any information on possible casualties. We have seen different press reports."

India has not officially given a number for those killed at the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) base in Pakistan's Balakot beyond a statement by Foreign Secretary Vijay K. Gokhale that "a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated". 


(With inputs from agencies) 



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