After India carried out a “non-military pre-emptive” strike against the terrorist organisation Jaish-E-Mohammad (JeM) through the Indian Air Force (IAF) across the Line of Control yesterday morning, Pakistan Air Force sent fighter jets inside the Indian border thus violating the Indian air space and targeting military installations in India.
In retaliation of the Pakistani action, the IAF once again breached the LOC and entered the Pakistani airspace as has been claimed by the Pakistani Authorities. The ensuing air-to-air combat led to damages on both the sides. While India claims to have shot one fighter jet of Pakistan Air Force, as stated by Raveesh Kumar,spokesperson of External Affairs Ministry, one Mig 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force has also been shot down and its pilot has been claimed to be ‘missing in action’ by the authorities in India. In the said air-to-air engagement, one of the fighter jets ie., IAF Mi-17’s transport chopper crashed in Bulgam, Jammu & Kashmir causing around 5 civilian casualties.
Government of Pakistan on the other hand also admitted the capture of Indian pilot through its Spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces, Major General Asif Ghafoor in a tweet as well as the address by Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Prime Minister in the said address also talked about initiating peaceful negotiation with India where he cited “miscalculations” in various wars across the history which has caused unnecessary devastation requesting India to come to the terms of solving the crisis through peaceful talks.
Meanwhile, the said captured pilot has been identified as IAF’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardhaman, confirmed by a video released by Pakistan wherein a man in blindfold wearing a flight suit accepts his identity as mentioned and gives out his service number. However, no confirmation has been issued by the IAF until now of such custody and the pilot is still claimed to be “missing in action”. While the picture still remains unclear as to what proceedings will India initiate, meanwhile, the and not only must they treated with respect for their capture and detention does not fall under the ambit of “punishment” but also the Convention directs the release of such prisoners as soon as the tension and violence ceases. A precedent exists in this regard wherein K Nachiketa, an IAF pilot who was captured during the Kargill war who was eventually released after Indian Government had mounted pressure supplemented by scrutiny of the International media and UN.
Tags : #IAF #Pakistan #Jet #AirForce #Shot #Down #Pilot #Captured