Pakistan PM warns of Kashmir escalation, offers talks with India

Mar 03, 2019, 00:15
Pakistan PM warns of Kashmir escalation, offers talks with India

Ghafoor was briefing the media about Wednesday's situation in which Pakistan army said its air force shot down two Indian fighter jets inside the Pakistani airspace and ground troops arrested two pilots of the destroyed aircraft.

Following this, India summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan, demanding safe return of Abhinandan Varthaman, Livemint reported.

On Tuesday, India said its air force conducted strikes on a JeM militant camp inside Pakistan - the first time since 1971 it hit territory in divided Kashmir.

What have India and Pakistan said?

In the fierce engagement between air forces of both countries, India lost one MiG 21 fighter jet, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed.

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One one hand, Pakistan seeks dialogue and on the other there is no assurance given on any sort of action that would be taken against its proxies which wage war on India. The statement went further to say that "once again the Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim". The attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based JeM.

Ghafoor, the Pakistani military spokesman, said the strikes were aimed at "avoiding human loss and collateral damage".

"It was conveyed that India expects Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from territories under its control", it said.

Imran Khan said in a televised statement that the two countries should "settle with talks" the conflict that has arisen between them - probably the closest to war that the two has come into after the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told state-run Pakistan Television he was in touch with his counterparts across the world about the "Indian aggression", adding that New Delhi had endangered peace in the region by Tuesday's airstrike on Pakistan. As recently as November, Pakistan's Khan spoke of "mending ties" with India.

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While flight operations had been suspended at Amritsar and Dehradun, airports at Jammu and Leh had been closed down for civilian traffic.

The military response came after a February 14 vehicle bomb attack on a convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed 40 paramilitary troops.

"I expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost", he continued.

Morning headlines from Pakistan's dailies had warned of possible retaliation from Pakistan for the Indian Air Force's airstrikes against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot.

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