Expressing her concern for people living along both sides of the border, Nobel Laureate and UN messenger of peace Malala Yousafzai urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan to show true leadership in this difficult time and settle long-standing Kashmir issue through dialogue.
The government also handed the Pakistani envoy a dossier containing “specific details of Jaish-e-Mohammed complicity in the Pulwama terror attack of February 14, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The dossier also had proof of the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan. “It was conveyed that India expects Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from territories under its control,” the MEA statement said.
CLICK TO READ | How Can India Bring Back IAF Pilot Captured by Pak and Will the Geneva Convention Help?
India conveyed strong objection to Islamabad at the 'vulgar display' of an injured personnel in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said her thoughts were with Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and his family.
As the day comes to an end, my thoughts are with Wing Commander Abhinandan. Some of us root for peace, others want war at all costs. But tonight we should spare a thought for this brave man & the pain his family is in. Hope media respects their privacy and shows some sensitivity.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 27, 2019
Iran's Zarif spoke on phone with his Pakistani counterpart, urged restraint | Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke on Wednesday on phone with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and offered mediation between India and Pakistan, after rising tensions between the two countries. Zarif, whose Monday's resignation was rejected by Rouhani on Wednesday, urge both countries to practice restraint, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported. ISNA said Zarif is going to speak to his Indian counterpart as well, but did not specify any date.
CLICK TO READ | 4 Indian Passengers Stranded at Lahore Airport after Pakistan Closes Airspace
The India passengers requested the authorities concerned to shift them to a hotel till the resumption of the flight operations.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says, “The Cross Border terror attack in Pulwama was a reality. The Balakot Operation was India’s Anti- Terror preemptive strike to defend its Sovereignty. The whole nation has spoken in one voice. Why, then is India’s opposition alleging that the Government is politicising our Anti-Terror Operations.”
My appeal to India’s opposition - “Let the country speak in one voice”. Please introspect - “Your ill advised statement is being used by Pakistan to bolster its case”.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 27, 2019
Former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah urged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to send back Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to India without letting other countries get involved and claim credit for it.
Dear @ImranKhanPTI, rather than let other countries get involved & claim the credit why don’t you send #WingCommanderAbhinandan back without it seeming to be done under international pressure. Statesmanship is better than brinkmanship for peace in the region.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 27, 2019
Former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram said India and Pakistan were fighting the same war.
With my heavy heart I appeal to yours, India,Pakistan is not your enemy, Your enemy is our enemy! How much more blood needs to be spilled before we realise we are both fighting the same battle.We need brothers in arm if we want to beat this war on terror #TogetherWeWin #NoToWar— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) February 27, 2019
CLICK TO READ | India Builds Bunkers to Protect Families along Pakistan Border
The new shelters, which were planned before this week's spike in tensions, are supposed to reduce that fear and prevent people from having to flee when the shelling begins.
European Union Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini said in a statement, "Following the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama, tensions along the 'Line of Control' between India and Pakistan have escalated militarily during the last days. This has the potential to lead to serious and dangerous consequences for the two countries and the wider region." She said she spoke with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi a few days ago and emphasised the need to address terrorism, including clear and targeted actions related to all forms of terrorist activity. "Terrorism can never be justified," she said.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore tweets for the well being and early return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
As an Air warrior, Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman served the nation by defending it with total disregard to his personal safety.— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) February 27, 2019
As a nation we pray for his continuous well being and early return.
Oppn statement feeds into Pak's narrative, says BJP | Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar says, “A statement was released by the opposition parties. The statement said that BJP is politicising the martyrdom of soldiers. We condemn this statement. The impact of that statement is seen on Pakistan television. Has Opposition thought of what will happen after such statements? This shows the country is divided and Pakistan is happy about it.”
CLICK TO READ | Rajasthan Family Names Child 'Mirage Rathore' After Jets That Bombed Jaish Camp in Pakistan's Balakot
The newborn's father, SS Rathore, said the family hoped that Mirage would join the nation's security forces when he grows up.
CLICK TO READ | When an Indian Pilot Was Captured By Pakistan: From The Man Who Negotiated His Release
At the helm of the negotiations was then Indian high commissioner in Islamabad, G Parthasarathy. News18 spoke to the former diplomat, who looked back at the time of Nachiketa's release.
Schools and colleges near Line of Control and international border to remain closed tomorrow. All government and private schools located in 0-5 km range from LoC in Rajouri district were closed since yesterday. Exams of fifth, sixth and seventh classes were also cancelled. Fresh date will be notified.
CLICK TO READ | India Hands Over Dossier Detailing Jaish Role in Pulwama Attack; Will Imran Khan Walk the Talk?
A MEA statement said this dossier contains
Army personnel guarding vital installations in Mumbai | Army personnel have been deployed at sensitive locations in the city along with the local police in view of the increased tension on the Indo-Pak border, an official said here on Wednesday. Along with central paramilitary forces, Army jawans are guarding key railway stations, airport, the area outside the Western Naval Command headquarters and various defence establishments in Mumbai and neighbouring towns, PTI quoted an official.
DMK president MK Stalin urged the central government to take all steps to rescue Wing Commander Abhinandan in his tweet.
இந்திய விமானி அபிநந்தன் வர்தமான் அவர்களின் குடும்பத்தினர் & நண்பர்களுடன் எனது கவலையையும், அக்கறையையும் பகிர்ந்து கொள்கிறேன்— DMK - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (@arivalayam) February 27, 2019
அவரை விரைந்து மீட்க அனைத்து நடவடிக்கைகளையும் மேற்கொள்ள வேண்டுமென மத்திய அரசை வலியுறுத்தி கேட்டுக்கொள்கிறேன்
- கழக தலைவர் @mkstalin#BringBackAbhinandhan pic.twitter.com/SHRTUCDeWZ
CLICK TO READ | India Acknowledges IAF Pilot Abhinandan Varthaman in Pak Custody, Demands Safe and Immediate Return
In a demarche issued to the acting high commissioner of Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs said it expects his immediate and safe return.
The railways on Wednesday said the Samjhauta Express will continue to run as per schedule from Delhi to Attari in India, amidst reports that Pakistan has suspended its operations between Wagah to Lahore on its side. Piyush Goyal said, “We have not yet received any instructions from authorities about any change to current running of samjhauta express and we shall follow any direction received in this regard.”
UK PM Theresa May says, “UK is deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan and urgently calls for restraint on both sides to avoid further escalation. We're in regular contact with both countries, urging dialogue and diplomatic solutions to ensure regional stability. We are working closely with international partners including through the UN Security Council to de-escalate tensions and are monitoring developments closely and considering implications for British nationals.”
Govt hands over dossier to Pak on JeM role in Pulwama attack | The government also handed the Pakistani envoy a dossier containing “specific details of Jaish-e-Mohammed complicity in the Pulwama terror attack of February 14, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The dossier also had proof of the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan. “It was conveyed that India expects Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from territories under its control,” the MEA statement said.
MEA objects to Pak's vulgar display of injured IAF personnel | The government has acknowledged that IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been captured by the Pakistani forces after his MiG-21 was shot down after he engaged Pakistani jets that violated Indian airspace. In a statement issued after it summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs said it 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 read.
File photo of Mirage air crafts. (Image: AFP PHOTO)
A day after India bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp in Pakistan, it was a morning of developments moving with dizzying rapidity.
Islamabad claimed it hit back at India by bringing down two Indian military aircraft, one of which crashed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir while the other fell in Jammu and Kashmir. Officials here said a Pakistani Air Force fighter jet was shot down by Indian air defence forces in Jammu region's Rajouri sector.
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.
Jammu and Kashmir was the centre of much of the action on a day of escalating tensions between the two neighbours.
An IAF helicopter crashed in Budgam in Kashmir, killing at least seven people.
There was no direct established link with the activity by Pakistani jets, but for many it was just a sign of the disturbed times.
There was also nightlong heavy firing and shelling on forward and civilian areas from across the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch with the Army and the Border Security Force being put on the highest degree of alertness.
All residents of the border areas were asked to remain inside their homes and not venture outside.
While the government and the defence establishment took stock of the situation, building up since the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in which 40 soldiers were killed, attention swivelled on the IAF pilot in enemy territory.
In a terse press statement, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, said details are being ascertained about Pakistan's claim of having captured one Indian pilot.
Officials said Pakistani fighter jets violated Indian air space in Jammu region's Poonch and Rajouri sectors but were pushed back by Indian aircraft. The jets dropped bombs while returning but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, they said.
"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," Kumar said.
He said the Pakistan Air Force activity was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly.
"In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG-21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side.
"In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG-21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts," he said.
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