NEW DELHI Pakistan has used its Air Force to target military installations in India in response to Indian counter-militancy operations but their attempts were foiled successfully, External Affairs Ministry claimed on Wednesday.
In a very brief press statement, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, also said details are being ascertained about Pakistan’s claim of having captured one Indian pilot.
The statement follows fresh confrontation a day after Indian Air Force launched a counter-militancy action against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks.
“Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully,”Kumar said.
He said the Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly.
“In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side.
“In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” he said.
Both officials did not take any questions from the media.
The response by Pakistani air force came a day after IAF claimed to have smashed a militant training camp of JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan.
“This is in contrast to the India’s non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a JeM terrorist camp in Balakot on February 26. It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India,” the MEA said in a statement issued in the evening.
“It was clearly conveyed that India reserves the right to take firm and decisive action to protect its national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity against any act of aggression or cross-border terrorism (SIC),” said the MEA.
It said regret was expressed at continuing denial by Pakistan’s political and military leadership at the presence of militant infrastructure in territories under its control.
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