The government of Pakistan said its air force shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace on Wednesday after the Indian Air Force crossed the line of control — the de facto border between the two countries in disputed Kashmir.
The alleged incident comes a day after Indian jets launched airstrikes in Pakistan territory in the first such incursion since the 1970s, and if confirmed, would mark a major escalation of hostilities between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson for the Pakistan armed forces, said in a tweet Wednesday that one Indian aircraft fell inside Pakistan-administered Kashmir, while another fell within the Indian-administered region of Kashmir. One pilot had been arrested, he said.
A post from the official Twitter account of the Pakistan government confirmed that its air force had shot down the two planes, following strikes conducted by Pakistan.
There has not been official comment from the Indian Air Force or government, and CNN could not independently verify Pakistan’s claims.
On the other hand, a statement from the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said that Islamabad carried out aerial strikes on “non military targets” across the line of control (LoC) from within Pakistani airspace, while accusing India of “carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan.”
Pakistan said its strike was “not a retaliation” to the Indian operation and stressed that “Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at nonmilitary target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage.”
“Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defense. 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,” the statement said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had previously promised retaliation “at the time and place of Pakistan’s choosing” and directed the country’s armed forces to remain prepared for all eventualities in response to the Indian strikes.
Flights to several Indian airports were suspended Wednesday, according to multiple Indian airlines on Twitter.
In separate tweets, Jet Airways, Vistara, Indigo and GoAir airlines announced the suspension of flights to airports at Amritsar, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jammu & Leh.
Article sourced from CNN News