NUCLEAR WAR WARNING as India Pakistan tensions SURGE after warplane shot down

Minnie Murray
March 1, 2019

President Trump said that he had "reasonably attractive news" that the tensions between India and Pakistan are likely to lessen a day after the nuclear-armed neighbors engaged in their first aerial combat in almost 50 years.

The dogfight took place on Wednesday as Pakistan carried out airstrikes on Indian territory in retaliation for Indian strikes the previous day, which struck deep inside Pakistani territory.

Pakistan shot down the pilot's jet on Wednesday, as tensions rose with India over the disputed region of Kashmir. Videos and photos from the region where the pilot was captured flooded social media, including misleading and false images. So we can't get any help or information, " said Sara Bjerregaard Larsen, 21.

That suicide attack and India's retaliatory strike Tuesday prompted a show of force a day later by Pakistan, which escalated into skirmishes among fighter jets belonging to both countries.

Mr Khan also said that he had feared Wednesday night that India might launch a missile attack, but the situation was later defused.

Meanwhile, Saudi diplomats appear to be acting as intermediaries between the two sides, after Pakistan complained that the USA had not played a larger role.

"The country is in safe hands", he told the cheering crowd.

On Wednesday, India's finance minister, Arun Jaitley, suggested at a news conference that Indian special forces carry out secret missions to capture terrorist leaders in Pakistan, invoking the 2011 U.S. Navy Seal operation to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Thai Airways says it had rerouted flights to Europe outside Pakistani air space. As recently as November, Pakistan's leader Khan spoke of "mending ties" with India. She also noted that negotiations between the two countries would resume this year as a video conference.

Pakistan's envoy to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, said Islamabad would like to see the Trump administration play a more active role in easing the crisis. Its armed forces are three times the size of Pakistan's.

Pakistani media welcomed Trump's comments and talked about the need for a greater USA role in the region to defuse the situation because of its good relations with India.

China, the European Union and other countries also called for restraint. While the bomber was a local Kashmiri man, a Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed responsibility.

Earlier in the morning, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi indicated they might free Abhinandan if India agreed to de-escalate.

Pakistan closed off its civilian airspace after the aerial firefight, a decision that forced Thai Airways to cancel a number of flights, leaving almost 5,000 passengers scrambling to find other flights.

Pakistan was believed to have a nuclear stockpile of about 140, with India having an estimated 130, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

"After the decision to temporarily open Pakistan's airspace, PIA has taken the decision to fly their UAE and Saudi Arabia bound flights", PIA tweeted.

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