Pakistani military spokesperson says they shot down two Indian aircraft inside its airspace and captured one pilot. The Pakistan government on Wednesday claimed it had shot down two Indian Air Force fighters and had carried out strikes across the Line of Control a day after India carried out an attack.
Pakistan confirmed on Wednesday that it had carried out air raids in Indian-administered Kashmir and shot down two Indian jets in its own airspace, capturing one of the pilots as tensions escalate a day after India bombed targets in Pakistan.
“Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. Earlier, Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistani army, said Indian jets had entered Pakistan in response and two fighter jets had been shot down, with one pilot captured.
The development comes as Indian officials said at least three Pakistani combat jets entered the airspace over Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday but returned after being intercepted by Indian planes.
Pakistan has promised to retaliate to Tuesday’s air strikes, and security across India has been tightened. The two countries have fought three wars since independence from British colonial rule in 1947 and went to the brink a fourth in 2002 after a Pakistani militant attack on India’s parliament.
In Mumbai, India’s financial capital, there was a visible increase in security levels for a city that has suffered numerous militant attacks in the past.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke separately with the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan and urged them to avoid “further military activity” following Tuesday’s airstrike.
“I expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost,” Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I also encouraged both ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity,” he said.
Both China and the European Union have also called for restraint. On Wednesday New Zealand’s foreign minister Winston Peters also voiced concern over the escalation in tensions.