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Tensions Reach All Time High Between Pakistan And India

India And Pakistan Tensions Rise Pakistan says it has shot down two Indian Air Force jets in a major escalation of the Kashmir conflict. A spokesman said one plane...

India And Pakistan Tensions Rise

Pakistan says it has shot down two Indian Air Force jets in a major escalation of the Kashmir conflict.

A spokesman said one plane had fallen in Pakistani territory and two pilots had been captured. Pakistan also denied reports one of its jets was shot down.

India has confirmed the loss of a MiG21 fighter and said a pilot was missing. It said it was investigating reports of his capture.

Both India and Pakistan claim all of Kashmir but control only parts of it. The nuclear powers have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. All but one were over Kashmir.

The aerial attacks across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Indian and Pakistani territory are the first since a war in 1971. They follow a militant attack in Kashmir which killed 40 Indian troops – the deadliest to take place during a three-decade insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir. A Pakistan-based group said it carried out the attack.

Pakistan’s information ministry published but subsequently deleted a video purporting to show one of the Indian pilots that the Pakistani military says it has captured. In the video, the pilot – who is blindfolded and appears to have blood on his face – identifies himself as Wing-Commander Abhinandan.

The ministry also tweeted what it said was footage of one of the downed Indian jets. In India, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar acknowledged the loss of a jet and its pilot.

He also said that India shot down a Pakistani fighter jet and Indian ground forces observed it falling on the Pakistani side of the LoC. Pakistan has denied any of its jets were struck.

Pakistan’s assertion that it had shot down two Indian aircraft came shortly after Islamabad said its warplanes had struck targets in Indian territory. Pakistan said it had “taken strikes at [a] non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage”.

Indian authorities said the Pakistani jets had been pushed back. In a briefing, Maj Gen Ghafoor said that Pakistan “had no alternative to respond” to Tuesday’s Indian air strikes on its territory.

However, he said Pakistan had not hit Indian military targets because “we don’t want to go on the path of war”. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has also said that her country will act “with responsibility and restraint”.

“India does not wish to see a further escalation of the situation,” she said, speaking from a meeting with Russian and Chinese foreign ministers in China.

India said Tuesday’s air strikes on Balakot in north-western Pakistan killed a large number of militants but Pakistan said there had been no casualties. The US, EU, and China have all called for restraint.

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