KLM adjusts routes to Asia due to tensions between India, Pakistan

Minnie Murray
March 3, 2019

Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was present with other military officials, including army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor.

Earlier today, the PAF shot down two Indian aircraft and arrested two pilots. Two dead bodies were discovered, said an officer.

The captured Indian pilot went on to say that "I would not change my statement if I go back to my country". Ghafoor had previously said that they had taken an Indian pilot into custody, after his plane was said to be shot down during a reported raid by Pakistan Air Force jets on Indian defence installations. He said one Pakistani aircraft was shot down, something Pakistan denied. They gave no cause for the crash.

But while the worldwide community counsels restraint, and Pakistan's civilian leader offers talks, the militaries seem for now to be locked into a spiral of escalation. Local residents earlier said they saw three bodies at the site. "The strikes are deliberately directed at non-military targets avoiding human loss and collateral damage".

A State Department spokesperson said the United States continued to call on India and Pakistan to "cease all cross-border military activity".

Government sources have claimed that over 350 JeM terrorists were killed in the pre-dawn strike on the terror camps in Pakistan on Tuesday.

"I once again invite India to come to the negotiating table", said Khan, who has called for dialogue with New Delhi in the past.

The strike Tuesday was India's first inside Pakistan since the two nations' 1971 war over territory that later became Bangladesh. If this escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's. While the other plane crashed in Indian territory, Abhinandan was not so lucky.

The latest escalation marks a sudden turnaround in relations between the two countries, that both claim Kashmir in full but rule in part.

While flight operations had been suspended at Amritsar and Dehradun, airports at Jammu and Leh had been closed down for civilian traffic. An Indian military statement said that "out of anger and frustration", Pakistan "initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation".

The IAF destroyed the biggest Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing almost 300 terrorists.

The recent troubles surfaced on February 14, when a Pakistan-based terror group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed at least 41 Indian troops in Muslim-majority Kashmir. By summoning Pakistan's acting high commissioner in India, India has explicitly warned Pakistan that in its custody, there should not be any harm to the Indian soldier.

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