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IAF Shot Down Pakistani Fighter Jet After it Targeted Military Installations in J&K: Govt

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Pakistan's bid was foiled due to the high state of readiness and alertness of the Indian forces.


Updated:February 28, 2019, 11:42 AM IST
IAF Shot Down Pakistani Fighter Jet After it Targeted Military Installations in J&K: Govt
File photo of an F-16 fighter aircraft. (Image: AP)

New Delhi: A Pakistani fighter jet that violated Indian air space on Wednesday morning was shot down in retaliatory fire, the government said.

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Pakistani warplane was shot down by the Indian Air Force after it attempted to target military establishments in Jammu and Kashmir but was intercepted by the IAF.

“Against this Counter Terrorism Action [aerial strikes carried out on Tuesday morning on Jaish camps] Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully,” said the MEA statement on Wednesday.

The spokesperson added that in this engagement, India lost one MiG-21. "The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan claims he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” said Kumar at a press briefing. Pakistan, however, claims to have captured two Indian pilots.

According to sources, the Pakistani jet was shot three kilometres within Pakistan territory in Lam valley of Nowshera sector. A parachute was seen as the jet was going down, but the condition of the pilot is unknown.

The Pakistani fighter jets violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Nowshera sectors. The Pakistani jets dropped bombs while returning, officials said. There were no reports of any casualties or damage.

Pakistan denied its jet was shot down, saying it had not received any such information. It said that its jets had crossed the Line of Control to undertake strikes in India for "self defence", a day after IAF warplanes conducted airstrikes at a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Foreign Office, said in a statement: "Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace. This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence."

"Pakistan has, therefore, taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our 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.”

"That is why we undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight. 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,” it said.

The flare up in the cross-LoC shelling, which was initiated by Pakistani troops in early hours of Wednesday, has also resulted in security forces and other establishments being put on a heightened alert.

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