This is What India and Pakistan’s Airspace Looks Like Right Now as Tensions Escalate Rapidly
The entire airspace north of Delhi has been vacated, and nine airports have been shut. Pakistan’s air space at this moment is devoid of all civilian flights.
The Airports Authority of India has temporarily suspended civilian air traffic north of Delhi in view of the emergency situation.
With reports coming in that Indian Air Force (IAF) has downed a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet and counter claims from Pakistan that they have “downed two Indian fighter jets” and “captured two IAF pilots”, the Airports Authority of India has temporarily suspended civilian air traffic in view of the emergency situation.
The entire airspace north of Delhi has been vacated, official sources said on Wednesday. The skies above New Delhi were vacated as nine airports in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab were closed for civilian air traffic on a day of rapidly escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.
According to Flight Radar, a website that tracks civilian air traffic, Pakistan’s air space at this moment is devoid of all civilian flights. The only civilian flight that is travelling over Pakistan is Avenger 1. No other data is available about the flight.
On the Indian side, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and parts of Rajasthan have no civilian air traffic. Airlines such as IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara have already cancelled flights to the mentioned areas.
Meanwhile Pakistan has also suspended its domestic and international flight operations to and from Lahore, Multan, Faislabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports.
Pakistan has captured two Indian pilots, its official PR wing declared in a press brief on Wednesday. Military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor claimed that two Indian Air Force jets had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) both of which had been shot down.
Two pilots had been captured alive from these jets, Ghafoor added, one of which was being treated for his injuries. “Two air force two jets crossed over the LoC. Pakistan’s Air Force was ready. We engaged them and shot down two of their jets.”
The wreckage of one fell our side and that of the other fell towards the Indian side. “We have arrested two pilots. We are behaving with them the way responsible countries behave with soldiers of other countries,” Ghafoor added.
Pakistan military’s PR wing also shared a video of a blindfolded man claiming him to be the captured IAF pilot.
Security forces and other establishments have been put on high alert following cross-LoC shelling initiated by Pakistani troops in early hours of Wednesday.
Pakistani fighter jets on Wednesday violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Nowshera sectors but were pushed back by Indian jets on air patrol. The Pakistani jets dropped bombs while returning, officials said.
There were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.
While Pakistan violated Indian air space and resorted to heavy shelling in the morning, it has accused New Delhi of violating LoC by "resorting to unprovoked mortar shelling".
A report in Pakistan-based Geo TV said that six civilians were killed in the "unprovoked shelling in Kotli village in Nakyal sector of LoC". Three of a family were among those killed in the Indian firing, the report stated.
"In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. 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," tweeted Pakistani Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor.
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