Pak PM Imran Khan offers talks to defuse tensions

Pak PM Imran Khan offers talks to defuse tensions

Pak PM Imran Khan offers talks to defuse tensions

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was arrested when his jet was shot down by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday morning is in the custody of Pakistan now and he expressed gratitude to Pakistan army for treating him with dignity.

"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".

The tension erupted in the wake of a terrorist bombing February 14 inside Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 paramilitary troops.

Indian army soldiers near the wreckage of an Indian aircraft apparently shot down by Pakistan. "If this (situation) escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi's", Khan said.

"I ask India: With the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford such a miscalculation?"

A senior Indian official told the Guardian the Pakistani jets were likely to have struck three evacuated villages, Nadian, Lam and Jhangar, in the border district of Rajouri shortly after 10.30am. One Indian pilots was taken into custody and is being treated well.

MEA also strongly objected to "Pakistan's vulgar display of injured personnel of the Indian Air Force", which they termed as a violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.

In a statement headed "Pakistan strikes back", the foreign ministry said the action was not retaliation " to continued Indian belligerence". "To avoid further military action, this is a risky cycle of escalation", Senator Payne said during a visit to London overnight.

The tit-for-tat aerial strikes and accompanying aerial dogfights marked the first serious military escalation between the two nuclear-armed rivals in two decades.

Indian air force planes strayed into Pakistani airspace on Wednesday after Pakistan had carried out airstrikes in Indian-occupied Kashmir, said Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the Pakistan armed forces.

"We should sit down and talk", he said.

The Pakistani government strongly denies the claim.

"What we saw today is the beginning, and things could move to war". "Both sides are in undiscovered country". Pakistan is at the time of writing still maintaining a ban on aircraft entering from Delhi at an altitude of below 32,000 feet-that ban has led Air India to reroute flights taking off from Delhi that would have passed over Pakistan. Westbound trips to London and Frankfurt were forced to divert, causing them to make refueling stops in Dubai or Mumbai, the carrier said in a statement.Thai Airways International Pcl scrapped flights between Bangkok and London, citing "escalated tensions between India and Pakistan".

The reignited tensions between India and Pakistan were accompanied by air combat and cross-border shelling.

Pakistani and Indian troops deployed in Kashmir often trade fire.

The airline canceled service to Delhi from Toronto on Wednesday night, and from Vancouver on Thursday.

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