ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Air Force Wednesday struck at non-military targets across the Line of Control and shot down two Indian aircraft inside the Pakistan airspace, the Foreign Office and the military spokesmen said.
The military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor in his tweet said the Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace who crossed the Line of Control (LoC) to retaliate the initial strikes.
“One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IoK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground,” he said.
The Foreign Office in a statement said the Pakistan Air Force undertook the strikes across the Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace.
“This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence,” the FO statement said.
“Pakistan has taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage,” the Foreign Office said.
Pakistan said the strikes were made to demonstrate its “right, will and capability for self defence.”
“We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm,” and added Pakistan undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight.
The Foreign Office said for the past few years, India has been trying to establish what they call “a new normal” a thinly veiled term for doing acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day.
“If India is striking at the so-called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan.”
Pakistan said it does not wish to follow the route adopted by India.
“We wish that India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation.”
On Tuesday, General Asif Ghafoor while rubbishing the claims of Indians that their aircraft stayed in Pakistan’s airspace for 21 minutes and killed 350 terrorists asked the adversary to get ready for response.
“The formation of the Indian aircraft crossed the LoC by four to five nautical miles which was timely and effectively challenged and repulsed by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF),” he said, adding after dropping the payload of four bombs in a haste, they went back under pressure from the PAF aircraft. “It is time for India to get response for which time place will be chosen by us and the response may be in any domain,” Major General Asif Ghafoor said at a news briefing on Tuesday, maintaining that the response would come and it would come differently.
“I said three things: You will never be able to surprise us and we have not been surprised. We were ready, we responded, we denied. I said we will retain the escalation ladder. We have that initiative in our hand,” he said. “I am saying that we will surprise you. Wait for that surprise. Our response will be different. See it for yourself. The response will come, and response will come differently,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has also convened a National Command Authority meeting, a top security body that controls country’s nuclear arsenals, today to discuss the current situation.