Pakistani airspace has partially restored: CAA

The restoration has begun with with Karachi's Jinnah International Airport.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on Wednesday that Pakistani airspace has been partially restored, starting with Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport.

As per the notification, flight number WY-324 from Karachi to Muscat and flight EK-601 from Karachi to Dubai have been departed.

“North-East and North-Western airspace remains closed until further notice,” added CAA via a tweet.

Earlier, Pakistan closed its airspace, the civil aviation authority and the military said, as fears spiked of an all-out conflict with India.

The CAA tweeted that it “has officially closed its airspace until further notice”, while a Pakistani military spokesman said the decision had been taken “due to the environment”.

A CAA source told AFP that all airlines had been notified to “suspend their operations in Pakistan until further notice”.

The decision came after Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian Air Force planes in its airspace Wednesday, taking tensions between the South Asian rivals to dangerous new levels.

Pakistan said it had captured two Indian pilots, with one in hospital.

At least five Indian airports were also closed and scores of flights were being cancelled, aviation authorities there said on condition of anonymity.

The Aviation Authority of India did not immediately respond to requests for official comment.

Captured Indian pilot Abhinandan says Pakistan Army treated him well

Pakistan army soldiers were 'thorough gentlemen', says captured Indian wing commander
Captured Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan said on Wednesday that the Pakistan Army treated him well, adding that the army personnel ‘were thorough gentlemen’.

The captured Indian airforce pilot was seen speaking in a video clip, where he said that he wanted ‘to bring this on record’ that he has being treated well. The Pakistan army ‘s behaviour is quite professional and impressive, he added.

While responding to a question inquiring if the Indian pilot is being treated well in Pakistan, Abhinandan responded: “Yes, I have been. And I would like to put this on record that I will not change my statement if I go back to my country also.”

He said that the Pakistan Army officers have looked after him very well and they were thorough gentlemen, starting ‘from the captain who rescued him’.

When asked where does the IAF pilot hail from, Abhinandan said that he was from ‘down South’.

While responding to a question to describe the aircraft he was flying, the captured Indian pilot said: “I am sorry, I am not supposed to tell you this, but I am sure you have found the records”. He also refused to answer when asked about the nature of his mission.

Captured Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan was seen in the video, sipping tea from a cup, and replying to questions. “The tea is fantastic, thank you,” he said in response to a question.

“I am married,” said the IAF pilot when inquired about some details of his personnel life. 

Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor ISPR said in a tweet that there is only one pilot in Pakistan Army’s custody and is being treated as per norms of military ethics. “There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics,” he tweeted.

PM Imran Khan again invites India for talks, says better sense should prevail

Prime Minister Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday once again invited India for talks and urged better sense should prevail.

Addressing the nation in the wake of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shooting down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, the premier said, “I wanted to take you into confidence regarding the situation arising since yesterday,” the premier said as he began his address.

“After the Pulwama incident, we offered India to cooperate in the probe. We know they suffered the casualties.”

“Pakistan has suffered casualties in the past so we offered to cooperate with India. Because terrorism is not in Pakistan’s interests,” he added. “We had said that Pakistan would be forced to respond if India carried out aggression.”

“We didn’t take action yesterday morning because we didn’t know the full extent of damage. Otherwise it would have been irresponsible. That’s why we waited,” he explained.

PM Imran said “Our plan from the start has been no casualties for India. The purpose was just to show India that if they can enter our space, we can too.”

“The problem is, where do we go from here? It is crucial that India uses sense,” he asserted.

“My question to the Indian government is that with the weapons you and we have can we afford a miscalculation? If it escalates from here where will it go? It won’t be in Modi’s or my control. I once again invite you to dialogue. Let me say again that better sense should prevail. We should resolve our problems through dialogue,” he asserted.

Earlier today, the PAF shot down two Indian aircraft and arrested two pilots. 

Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor addressed a press conference earlier today and said Pakistan wants peace and India needs to understand war is a failure of policy.

On Tuesday, Indian military aircraft violated the LoC as they “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force.

The incursion into the Pakistani air space followed a series of threats by Indian political and military leadership following the attack on an Indian Army convoy at Pulwama by a local youth, in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.

Major airports in Punjab and KP suspended flight operations

Major airports in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Flight operations were suspended across major airports in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday, in the wake of escalating border tensions between Pakistan and India.

Flight operations at Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports were suspended, after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace earlier today and arrested an Indian pilot on ground.

According to Lahore airport manager, all incoming and outgoing local and international flights have been suspended until further orders.

“A flight from Guangzhou, China has been sent back,” the official further said.

Sources said a passenger air plane was stopped from taking off from Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar on the orders of Civil Aviation Authority.

India has also shut at least four airports after the incident, according to Reuters. Flight operations at Srinagar, Jammu, Pathankot and Leh airports have been suspended.

Airports in Chandigarh and Amritsar have also been closed, Reuters reported.

Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said Indian Air Force (IAF) crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and two of their aircraft were shot down by PAF inside Pakistani airspace.

 

Pakistan is capable of defending its frontiers: Shehbaz Sharif

Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif
Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said India provoked Pakistan and that Pakistan has the right and is capable of defending its frontiers.

Shehbaz’s statement comes after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace earlier today and arrested an Indian pilot on ground.

“India provoked Pakistan & Pakistan has the right and is capable of defending it’s frontiers. The international community should also take notice of Modi sarkar’s aggressions and brutalities in the occupied Kashmir taking lives of innocent civilians for its petty political gains,” Shehbaz tweeted.

Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said Indian Air Force (IAF) crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and two of their aircraft were shot down by PAF inside Pakistani airspace.

“One of the aircraft fell inside AJK while other fell inside IoK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area,” Director Gneral of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said.

The action comes a day after Pakistan military warned India of retaliatory action following violation of Pakistani airspace by Indian aircraft. The Indian jets intruded into the Pakistani airspace from the Muzaffarabad sector and dropped their payload on what India claimed was a terrorist camp, before they were repelled by timely action from the Pakistan Air Force.

There are no victors in war, our message is for peace: DG ISPR

Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations
Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday said Pakistan has the capability to respond to Indian aggression but does not want war.

Addressing a press conference after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, the Pakistan military spokesperson said, “Since today morning activity has been ongoing at LoC. This morning PAF engaged six targets across LoC from within Pakistani airspace.”

Stating that the Pakistan armed forces and PAF had no choice but to respond, DG ISPR said the question was “how to respond” whether in “a similar manner as India or as a responsible country”.

“Pakistan’s armed forces have capability, will, resolve and nation’s support. But because we are a responsible state and want peace, we decided first of all that we won’t take any military targets.”

“Secondly we decided that there be no loss of life or collateral damage in our engaging of targets,” he added. “Our planes locked targets, then in open air we carried out strikes,” he continued.

“We locked all targets with accuracy, and when we had option to fire, we acted responsibly from a safe distance. We have capability to do anything, but we don’t want escalation. We don’t want to go towards war,” he asserted.

“After PAF decided on targets, two Indian jets entered Pakistani airspace. PAF was ready, faced them. The two planes were shot down. One fell in our space, another on their side. Two pilots were arrested. One of the pilots was injured and has been taken to CMH. He will be given proper care. Another is in our custody,” he added.

Refuting Indian media reports that a Pakistani F-16 jet was shot down, DG ISPR said, “Pakistan did not use F-16 in any activity today.”

The Pakistan military spokesperson stressed, “The state, government, armed forces and people of Pakistan have always conveyed a message of peace to India.

The road to peace goes through dialogue. Both countries have the capability and capacity but war is the failure of policy which India needs to understand.

We do not want to escalate and follow a path which leads to peace. The people of both countries and region at large have a right to live and live in peace.

War is not the solution to problems. India should think with a cool head on this offer from Pakistan. “

We don’t want to indicate any victory. There are no victors in war. I request media to report objectively, responsibly, to go towards peace. Our message is for peace, he further said. “Starting a war is easy, but where it ends, nobody knows.”

In response to a question, Major General Ghafoor said, “Pakistan not pushing for war. We engaged our targets in open air, we deliberately avoided escalation. We could easily have taken the original targets, but we did not do that.”

Regarding the airspace being closed, the DG ISPR said, “It has been closed due to environment.”

“Pakistan’s response is not a retaliation per se, but a demonstration of our capability, responsibility and will. It is now upto India whether they go towards peace, which is a requirement of the region. But if forced, we will respond.”

Major General Ghafoor’s press conference comes after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace.

 

 

PAF shoots down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace: ISPR

PAF shoots down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) conducted strikes across Line of Control (LoC) from within Pakistani airspace, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

“This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage,” the FO statement read.

“Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm,” it added. “That is why we undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight.”

The FO further said, “For the last few years, India has been trying to establish what they call “a new normal” a thinly veiled term for doing acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day. If India is striking at so called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan. We do not wish to go to that route and wish that India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation.”

“The jets entered into Indian air space over Nowshera sector this morning,” Indian media quoted an official as saying.

Pakistani jets targeted two Indian planes, according to reports. One Indian plane was shot down and the other was engaged, the reports added.

The retaliatory act comes after Pakistan warned India of a “surprise” on Tuesday in the wake of Indian military aircraft’s intrusion into Pakistani airspace.

Pakistan Military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday warned India that it was time to “wait for our surprise”. “I said three things: You will never be able to surprise us. We have not been surprised. We were ready, we responded, we denied. I said we will retain the escalation ladder. We have that initiative in our hand,” he said.

FM Qureshi expresses reservations at OIC invitation to Sushma Swaraj

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has expressed reservations at Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) extending an invitation to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The Indian minister has been invited as “guest of honour” at the inaugural session of the foreign ministers’ conclave in Abu Dhabi next month.

Speaking to media, the foreign minister said, “I have spoken to the United Arab Emirates foreign minister and have expressed my reservations over her invitation. I have made myself clear that India has shown aggression.”

“Under the current circumstances, it will not be possible for me to attend OIC meeting where Sushma Swaraj is present,” he said.

FM Qureshi further said he spoke on call to United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and apprised his US counterpart over the blatant Line of Control (LoC) violation by the Indian security forces, and the stance of Pakistani government, parliament and masses reaction over the concerning development.

Read more:Pakistan holds the right to befitting response to Indian aggression: FM Qureshi

Leaders from opposition parties demanded Pakistan boycott the OIC meeting.

The demand of the opposition parties following Indian aircraft violating Pakistani airspace across the LoC and being repelled due to the timely response of Pakistan Air Force.

“Indian aircraft intrusion across LoC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJK was 3-4 miles. Under forced hasty withdrawal aircraft released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow,” director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations wrote on Twitter.

National Command Authority meeting underway to discuss the India’s LoC violation

Prime Minister Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan is currently chairing a meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) to discuss a response to India’s Line of Control (LoC) violation.

The NCA is the apex civilian-led command headed by the prime minister to oversees the policy formulation, exercises, deployment, research and development, employment and operational command and control of the country’s nuclear arsenals.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had chaired a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) a day earlier during which it was announced that a meeting of NCA has been summoned today.

The NSC had rejected Indian claims of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot and said that Pakistan will decide the time and place of response to the aggression.

Read more:Pakistan will decide time and place of response to India: NSC

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday also warned India that it was time to “wait for our surprise”.

“I said three things: You will never be able to surprise us. We have not been surprised. We were ready, we responded, we denied. I said we will retain the escalation ladder. We have that initiative in our hand,” he said.

“I said that we will surprise you. Wait for that surprise. I said that our response will be different. See it for yourself. The response will come, and response will come differently,” he warned the Indian army.

He said that in the meeting today, the prime minister alerted the armed forces, all elements of national power, and the 207 million population of Pakistan to “get ready for any eventuality”.

“The nation is ready. You have seen the response of all the political parties. We are all one. Now it is time for India to wait for our response.”

“The response will come at the point and time of our choosing where our civil military leadership decides, and, as a matter of fact, has decided.”

Indian military aircraft violated the LoC as they “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said early Tuesday.

“Indian aircraft intrusion across LoC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJK was 3-4 miles. Under forced hasty withdrawal aircraft released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow,” Major General Ghafoor wrote on Twitter.

 

Indian LoC violation: Joint session of the Parliament summoned today

Parliament of Pakistan
A joint session of the Parliament has been summoned today (Wednesday) over the opposition’s demand in the wake of India’s Line of Control (LoC) violation.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan had told a Senate session on Tuesday that a joint session of the Parliament has been summoned to give a strong message to New Delhi that the nation is united in the face of Indian aggression.

An in-camera briefing on the prevailing situation will also be given to all parliamentary and senior political leaders of the country.

As the National Assembly session resumed on Tuesday, opposition leaders called for a joint session of Parliament to discuss and draft a plan of action against India’s aggression.

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Khursheed Shah and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif had urged that political parties set their differences aside and put on a united front in the wake of India’s aggression.

Stating that “we are in a state of war”, Shah had said, “The Parliament should sit together and decide.”

“India wishes to exploit our internal differences and attack us,” Shah said, “We have to show to India and the world that the entire nation is united.”

Asif had seconded Shah’s demand for a parliamentary session and called on all parties to “be united” and to show solidarity with the armed forces.

“Our country, our sovereignty and our integrity are being threatened,” Asif said.

“It is not the time for political point-scoring and we should put aside our differences and unite the entire nation,” he added.

“We are standing behind our armed forces like an iron wall.”

“The entire nation will have to firmly issue a united response to India,” the former defence minister asserted. “We should not hesitate to help Kashmiris.”

Indian military aircraft violated the LoC as they “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said early Tuesday.

“Indian aircraft intrusion across LoC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJK was 3-4 miles. Under forced hasty withdrawal aircraft released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow,” Major General Ghafoor wrote on Twitter.

The incursion into the Pakistani air space follows a series of threats by Indian political and military leadership following the attack on an Indian Army convoy at Pulwama by a local youth, in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.