Nuclear Nightmare: India and Pakistan are on the Brink

Posted February 28, 2019

Around the same time, the country's aviation authority announced that it had shut its airspace to all commercial flights.

Local officials on the Pakistani side said at least four people had been killed and seven wounded, though it was unclear if the casualties were civilian or military.

New Delhi/Islamabad, Feb 26 (IANS): Pakistan claimed on Tuesday that Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and returned after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) scrambled war planes.

A spokesman for India's foreign ministry said it lost a combat jet and could not find the pilot while it foiled an attack by Pakistan military planes in Kashmir.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke separately with the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan and urged them to avoid "further military activity" following Tuesday's airstrike.

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Pakistani soldiers stand next to what Pakistan says is the wreckage of an Indian fighter jet shot down in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir on February 27, 2019.

Earlier, senior Indian police officer Munir Ahmed Khan said an Indian Air Force plane crashed in the Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir.

Tensions have been growing between the nuclear-armed neighbors and rivals since 40 Indian paramilitary forces were killed by a suicide vehicle bomb in Indian Kashmir on February 14. India and Pakistan have been involved in three wars and military standoffs over Kashmir since the partition of British India in 1947.

An Air Canada spokesperson confirmed to CTV News Wednesday morning that the airline had temporarily suspended its service to India. Also, any cross-border attacks were always within Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a disputed territory, and not in Pakistan proper, as was the case with the September 2016 "surgical strike" in response to the Uri army camp attack in Indian-administered Kashmir.

"Travellers should also exercise precaution in other areas, especially the border regions between Pakistan and India, given the uncertain security situation", it said.

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The overture comes amid two days of flaring tensions between the nuclear-armed nations that started Tuesday when the Indian Air Force made what's believed to be its first incursion over Pakistani territory in decades in order to bomb a militant training camp.

He added that the action Pakistan has taken is in "self defence".

The situation was no different in villages along the Line of Control in Indian-controlled Kashmir, where residents were moving to safer places following the intense exchange of fire, which began Tuesday and continued Wednesday. Pakistan denied there had been casualties but warned that it will respond to what it called Indian "aggression".

This shortly after Pakistani police said mortar shells fired by Indian troops from across the frontier in the Himalayan region of Kashmir killed six civilians on Wednesday.

In a statement released to the media, the MEA also "strongly objected to Pakistan's vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention".

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"I also encouraged both ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity", he said.