Islamabad, Pakistan –Pakistanshot down two Indian air force fighter jets and launched air strikes at six targets in Indian-administered Kashmir, its military says, in a dramatic ratcheting up of tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
The Indian air force jets were shot down over Pakistani airspace in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Wednesday, a day after Indian aircraft launched air raids on Pakistani territory, Pakistani military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said.
Two Indian air force pilots were taken into custody, Ghafoor said, with one of them being treated for wounds at a military hospital.
India’s foreign ministry has confirmed that one of their pilots is missing and that they are “ascertaining the facts”.
Separately, Ghafoor said that Pakistani aircraft had fired on six targets in Indian-administered Kashmir, hitting “open spaces” as a demonstration of Pakistan’s capability to hit Indian targets. The intention, the military spokesperson said, was not to cause any civilian or military casualties.
“[The] sole purpose was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self-defence,” read a Pakistani foreign office statement released shortly after the attacks. “We have no intention of escalation but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm.”
Speaking to reporters at military headquarters in Rawalpindi, Ghafoor said Pakistan did not wish to escalate hostilities and urged India to engage in dialogue.
“This was not a retaliation in true sense, but to tell Pakistan has capability, we can do it, but we want to be responsible, we don’t want an escalation, we don’t want a war,” he told a news conference.