The tensions between the two neighbouring rivals India and Pakistan escalated on Wednesday after the Pakistan Air Force attempted an air strike on military targets, which was foiled by the Indian Air Force. The Indian Air Force (IAF) pushed back the PAF, resulting in one of Indian pilot “missing in action”.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a joint press brief with IAF said, “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.”
The statement added, “In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force.” The statement also read, “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.” India is demanding his swift and safe return.
Later Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in a televised statement said, “Our action was only intended to convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same…From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom,” adding “I ask India: With the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford a miscalculation? If this escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in Modi’s. We invite you for dialogue… better sense must prevail.”
A number of countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia, Nepal France has come out and has urged the neighbours to refrain from further military action and asked to de-escalate the most serious flare-up in decades.