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Indo- Pak Relation

Indo- Pak Relation, Politics

Received message from PM Modi, tweets Imran Khan on eve of Pak National Day

Received message from PM Modi, tweets Imran Khan on eve of Pak National Day

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday sent a message to his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, greeting people of the neighbouring country on the eve of its National Day, official sources said.

The prime minister, in his message, said it was time for the people of the sub-continent to work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive and prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence, they said.

Modi’s message to Khan comes in the midst of severe strain in ties between the two nuclear-armed neighbours following the Pulwama attack and the subsequent air strikes by India on a JeM terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.

Significantly, India on Friday boycotted a reception at the Pakistan High Commission here to mark Pakistan’s National Day, objecting to invites extended to several separatist leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for the event.

Imran Khan also tweeted PM Modi’s message.

“Received msg from PM Modi: ‘I extend my greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that ppl of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence’,” Khan said.

Received msg from PM Modi: “I extend my greetings & best wishes to the people of Pakistan on the National Day of Pakistan. It is time that ppl of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence”

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Earlier, Pakistani envoy Sohail Mahmood, in an address at the reception here, said Pakistan and India need to consolidate the process of de-escalation and stabilise the ties against further shocks, hoping that the “long winter” in bilateral relations would come to an early end.

He said both the countries should act with “wisdom” to normalise ties, asserting that “coercive measures” have not worked in the past and will not work in the future.

The envoy said a key takeaway from recent developments was that a lack of engagement creates “dangerous vacuum and serious risks” for relations between the two neighbours, adding Pakistan has “turned a corner” in its fight against the scourge of terrorism.

He said the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, return of the two High Commissioners to their respective missions, and bilateral meetings on the Kartarpur Corridor “are steps in a positive direction”.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian Air Force fighter jets bombed terror group JeM’s training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan on February 26.

Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans.

The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in which 40 soldiers were killed. PTI

Indo- Pak Relation

Indian Pilot praises Pakistan Army in new video released in Pakistan

Wing commander Abhinandan, an Indian pilot who was captured by the Pakistani soldiers after his plane was shot down, has reiterated that the Pakistan Army is a professional service and he is very impressed accoding to a video released in Pakistan.

In a video message prior to his release at the Wagah border, the Indian pilot said that he was trying to find a target when the Pakistani air force shot down his planes and he had to eject.

Pakistan shot down two Indian planes in Kashmir on February 27. One plane crashed in the Kohi Rata sector of Azad Kashmir while one crashed in Indian-Administered Kashmir’s Budgam area. Abhinandan, was also taken into custody.

“When I fell down I had a pistol,” he recalled. “There was a big crowd and I tried to run but they followed me.” Abhinandan said that the soldiers of Pakistan army saved him from the crowd.

“Two Jawans of the Pakistan army reached there and they saved me and took me to their unit,” he added. “I was given first aid and then I was taken to the hospital.”

Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman disclosed in his video statement before his release  from Pakistan on Friday  that he was searching for a target when his plane was shot down by the Pakistan Air force.

He said  “I  ejected my plane and using a parachute landed”. 

He only had a pistol with him. 

At reaching the ground, he was surrounded by an angry mob. 

”  I  had only one way of saving myself i threw my pistol and decided to run” said the Indian pilot.

The Indian pilot goes on to saying that when he was being attacked by the mob, he was saved by  two soldiers and the Captain of the Pakistan army. 

The pilot continues to say that after being rescued by the mob he was taken to the unit of the Pakistan Army, where he was given   first aid. 

First published in The International News. and 

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/438440-was-searchiing-for-a-target-when-was-shot-down

Indo- Pak Relation

Indian Pilot to return home today; US welcomes Pakistan’s decision to release captured Indian pilot

Missing Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Pilot Abhinandan Varthaman is coming back to India today. Wing Commander Abhinandan, who was captured by Pakistan authority, will be handed over India through Attari-Wagah border. This comes after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday announced in Parliament in Islamabad that the Wing Commander would be released on Friday as a “gesture of peace”.

Earlier in a stern message to Pakistan, India yesterday ruled out any deal on the return of Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. New Delhi has sought unconditional and immediate return of the IAF pilot, according to a PTI report. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Islamabad was “willing to consider returning Indian pilot” if it leads to ‘de-escalation’, the report said. IAF and Indian Army will jointly address media this evening.

The Narendra Modi government wanted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to walk the talk on investigating the Pulwama attack on CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14. New Delhi also asserted that it wants strict and prompt action against terrorists who are using Pakistan soil to carry out attacks in India. It has firmly said it has not asked for any consular access to the IAF pilot.

IAF Wing Commander Pilot Abhinandan set to be released!  The government due to security reasons has not announced any time or place to hand him over to Indian authorities. But diplomatic sources said that the pilot will be taken to the Wagah border crossing near Lahore and handed over to officials of the Indian High Commission.

China has cancelled all flights to and from Pakistan and rerouted its international aircraft flying over the Pakistani airspace due to the regional tensions, official media here reported on Friday. The closure of Pakistan’s airspace in response to escalating tensions with India disrupted major routes between Europe and South East Asia and left thousands of air travellers stranded worldwide. Flights from the Middle East that usually overfly Pakistan and the Pakistan-India border will have to re-route over India, Myanmar or central Asia to enter China, civil aviation experts told Global Times.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is in Abu Dhabi to attend the foreign ministers’ meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states where she is expected to raise the issue of terrorism, amidst Indo-Pak tensions following the Pulwama terror attack. Swaraj will attend the inaugural plenary of the two-day meeting on Friday. It is for the first time that India has been invited to a meeting of the OIC, an influential grouping of 57 Islamic countries, as the guest of honour. India’s engagement with the OIC comes in the midst of escalating tension between India and Pakistan. The ties strained further after Indian fighter jets bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday. Pakistan carried out a retaliatory aerial raid on Wednesday.

According to TV reports, activist in Pakistan filed a plea in court against the release of Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Pilot Abhinandan.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “On a day when our country is grappling with another crisis of mad rush of mutual self destruction played b/w India-Pak. Our basic problem is to get rid of chronic poverty, ignorance and disease which still afflicts citizens in our 2 countries.

 Pakistan violates ceasefire in Uri sector, civilian injured

Simultaneously, the US has urged both India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Thursday joined other lawmakers in expressing concern over the escalating tension between India and Pakistan.

“This is “a result of a Pakistan-based terrorist group’s brutal attack”, he said.“I urge both countries to de-escalate the mounting tensions,” Hoyer said.First Published on Mar 1, 2019 08:29 am

Indo- Pak Relation

IAF shot down Pakistani fighter aircraft; one Indian pilot missing in action, MEA says

Pakistan used its Air Force to target military installations in India in response to Indian counter-terrorism operations but their attempts were foiled successfully, though one Indian pilot is “missing in action”, external affairs ministry has said.

MEA said : We unfortunately lost one MiG-21 in this engagement and an Indian pilot is missing in action. Pakistan claims the pilot is in their custody, however we are ascertaining the facts.

In the aerial engagement, a Pakistan fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG-21 Bison. The aircraft was seen by ground forces falling on the Pakistan side: MEA

Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully: MEA

The Government today confirmed that India shot down a Pakistan Air Force fighter jet and in that operation one Indian Air Force pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has used its Air Force to target military installations in India in response to Indian counter-terrorism operations but their attempts were foiled successfully, External Affairs Ministry said.

In a very brief press statement, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, al .. 

In a very brief press statement, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, also said details are being ascertained about Pakistan’s claim of having captured one Indian pilot. 

“Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully,”Kumar said. 

He said the Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly. “In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. 

Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” he said.,” Raveesh Kumar said. 

The statement follows after Pakistan claimed that it shot down two Indian military aircraft over Pakistani air space and arrested two pilots.

Indo- Pak Relation

India-Pakistan crisis: Tensions rise over Kashmir after ‘surgical air strike’ on militant training camp

Pakistan has promised to retaliate to any Indian ‘adventurism’

Indian fighter jets crossed the line of control into Pakistan to carry out a bombing raid against a militant training camp, the Indian government said, causing Islamabad to scramble its own aircraft in response.

The operation early on Tuesday was the first major military response to the militant car bombing in Pulwama, Kashmir earlier this month which the Indian government blames on Pakistan.

The Indian aircraft crossed into Pakistan-administered Kashmir and “released a payload” towards Balakot in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, said spokesperson for the Pakistan Armed Forces Asif Ghafoor.

Pakistan called the sortie “a grave aggression by India”. In a brief statement, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said India had violated its territory and that Pakistan reserves the right to respond.

India’s ANI news agency, quoting air force sources, said 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft crossed the line of control at 3.30am on Tuesday and dropped 1,000kg of bombs on militant camps. 

And at an extraordinary media briefing, India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said the raid targeted the largest training base belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group. JeM has claimed responsibility for orchestrating the 14 February Pulwama attack.

Mr Gokhale said there was “credible intelligence that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack”. “In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary”.

The foreign secretary said the camp was led by the brother-in-law of JeM chief Masood Azhar, and that the operation eliminated “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers [and] senior commanders”.

The attack was a response to “the menace of terrorism” and not the Pakistani state, Mr Gokhale said, referring to it as “non-military preemptive action”. He also said the target, a remote forest camp, was selected “to avoid civilian casualties”.  

Prakesh Javadekar, India’s human resource development minister, tweeted: “This was a necessary step for the defence of the country, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given the armed forces a free hand. The whole country stands behind the armed forces.”

Pakistan has played down the success of the operation, with prime minister Imran Khan describing India’s account of it as “fictitious”. 

Its armed forces posted pictures to Twitter that appeared to show nothing more than impact craters from bombs in forested countryside, and officials repeatedly asserted that the Indian sortie caused neither damage to infrastructure nor loss of life.

Armed forces spokesman Ghafoor said: “Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.”

India has accused the Pakistani state of allowing JeM to operate within its borders, as well as shielding the group’s leader Azhar from being named an international terrorist by the UN Security Council.

The Indian Army’s top commander in Kashmir went as far as to accuse Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency of “controlling” the Pulwama attack directly.

The day after the car bombing, which killed 40 Indian paramilitary officers and was the deadliest of its kind in Kashmir, Narendra Modi said India would give a “fitting, jaw-breaking response to this attack”.

Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, had previous said that any “adventurism” on India’s part would be met with retaliation. Later on Tuesday, after convening a meeting of the country’s National Security Committee, Mr Khan accused India of “putting regional peace and stability at grave risk”. “India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing,” he said.

Mr Modi has been under domestic pressure to give a show of force in the wake of the Pulwama attack, which has dominated India’s news agenda for almost two weeks. The prime minister is gearing up for a general election which must be held by the end of May.

India has already withdrawn Pakistan’s “most-favoured nation” trading status and whacked a 200 per cent tariff on Pakistani goods, though the measly state of the neighbours’ cross-border commerce makes the impact of these measures limited.  

Both India and Pakistan administer a portion of Kashmir but claim the entire region as their own. The two countries have fought three major wars over the issue, though not since 1971.

The last time India claimed to have carried out a “surgical strike” against militant camps across the line of control was in 2016, and that was allegedly by troops on the ground rather than an air raid. To this day, Pakistan denies that any such incursion took place.

Courtesy: The Independent