first published on February 27, 2019 by Sean
The Pakistani Government claims to have shot down two Indian Aircraft and captured a pilot over the long-contested Kashmir region today. The dramatic escalation comes just one day after India allegedly bombed targets in Pakistani controlled territory as a response to the deadly suicide attack that killed some 41 Indian paramilitary police earlier this month.
The Pakistani Government is claiming to have shot down two Indian jets after they entered Pakistani controlled airspace in the disputed Kashmir region. Claiming that one aircraft fell onto Indian held territory, while the other crashed on the Pakistani side of the border. They have also reported the capture of a purported Indian wing commander who bailed out during the incident.
In response India has admitted to the loss of one MiG21 and has labeled the pilot as missing in action. However, Indian officials are claiming to have shot down a Pakistani aircraft during the same incident.
The confused yet dramatic escalation comes just one day after India launched airstrikes against an alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) camp inside the Pakistani controlled Kashmir. JEM claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing earlier this month that killed 41 of India’s paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force; the deadliest such terrorist attack in the region’s history. JEM has been labeled as a terrorist organization by multiple nations and the UN. According to CNN, “India had previously said that Pakistan had a “direct hand” in the attack — the deadliest on security forces since the beginning of the insurgency in the late 1980s. Pakistan has vehemently denied having a role in the incident.”
India and Pakistan – both armed with nuclear weapons – have fought several major wars and numerous skirmishes over the Kashmir region since its partition by the British in 1947. The airstrikes by India are the first to cross the so-called Line of Control (LoC) since the conclusion of the India-Pakistan war of 1971. These incidents in the air have additionally sparked a rash of artillery shelling between ground forces on both sides of the LoC resulting in casualties on both sides.