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PM Modi Briefed on Security Situation, Pakistan Denies Its F-16 Shot Down: Top Developments

The government has shut down the Srinagar, Jammu, Leh and Pathankot airports for civilian flights, officials said, adding that all civilian air traffic towards Srinagar has been suspended.

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Updated:February 28, 2019, 11:45 AM IST
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PM Modi Briefed on Security Situation, Pakistan Denies Its F-16 Shot Down: Top Developments
File image Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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New Delhi: India on Wednesday denied Pakistan’s claims that it had shot down Indian jets and said "all our pilots are accounted for". The statement came after Pakistan said it had conducted "strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace", a day after Indian fighter jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in a pre-dawn strike. India, instead, said it had shot down a Pakistani F-16 jet in retaliatory fire 3km within Pakistan territory in Lam valley, Nowshera sector, after it violated Indian airspace and dropped bombs.

Here are the top developments:

1) Prime Minister Narendra Modi is at present being briefed about the security situation after Pakistan violated India’s air space and claimed to have shot down two IAF jets and arrested a pilot. The IAF instead has said a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet was shot down in retaliatory fire 3km within Pakistan territory in Lam valley. Officials said the Pakistani jets were pushed back by Indian aircraft and they dropped bombs while returning. There were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.

2) Denying that its jet was shot down, Pakistan claims to have arrested an IAF pilot after bringing down two Indian military aircraft. Major General Asif Ghafoor, head of Pak military’s media wing, said the PAF strikes were after IAF crossed the Line of Control again on Wednesday. “PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area,” he tweeted. However, India denied the claims and said all its pilots were accounted for.

3) In a statement, Pakistan said that in retaliation to India's Line of Control (LoC) violation a day earlier, it undertook strikes across the LoC from Pakistani airspace. "Sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We do not wish to escalate but are fully prepared if forced into that paradigm," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

4) Two Indian Air Force pilots died on Wednesday as a military aircraft crashed in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. The aircraft crashed in an open field near Garend Kalaan village in Budgam at 10.05 am, the officials said. It broke into two and caught fire immediately, the officials said, adding that two bodies were seen near the site of crash. The identity of the deceased could not be confirmed immediately.

Follow the live coverage of India-Pakistan tensions here.

5) The government has shut down all civilian airports in Jammu and Kashmr and Punjab after the Pakistani jets violated Indian airspace. International flights are also being rerouted.

6) Schools have been shut in Rajouri town following reports that Pakistani jets have violated Indian air space.

7) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is holding a high-level meeting at North block; NSA, RAW chief, Home Secretary and other officials present at the meeting. There has been no official word from the government on the day's developments so far.

7) Pakistani troops intensely shelled Indian posts in Uri Sector of Jammu and Kashmir as they fired mortar shells towards Indian posts in the early hours of Wednesday. A police official said there were no reports of any casualties so far. The official said the Indian Army retaliated to the Pakistani action in an equal measure.

8) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj flew down to Beijing and raised the Pulwama terror attack with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a bilateral meeting. Swaraj defended Tuesday’s air strike and claimed that India swung into action as Pakistan failed to crack down on terrorism.

9) The US on Wednesday firmly asked Pakistan to take "meaningful action" against terrorist groups operating on its soil and underscored the importance of avoiding escalation at any cost after India targeted terrorist camp in Pakistan.

11) While in Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that he won't attend OIC since Sushma Swaraj will be there. He said that he has conveyed his reservations to the United Arab Emirates foreign minister over Swaraj’s invitation.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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