Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked India for a dialogue as hostilities between the two nations spiked this morning following an engagement between the air forces. Pakistan and Indian Air Forces had not engaged since the 1971 war. The surge in hostilities – the worst in decades — has come within a fortnight of the Jaish-e Mohammed suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, in which 40 soldiers lost their lives.
“Our action was only intended to convey that if you can come into our country, we can do the same… Two of their MiGs were shot down (in the ensuing action). From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom,” Imran Khan said in a televised statement.
“I ask India: With the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford a miscalculation? If this escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in Modi’s.” Mr Khan said in a hit at the nuclear capabilities of both nations. “We invite you for dialogue… better sense must prevail,” he added.
Following last night’s air strikes by the IAF on Jaish-e Mohammed’s biggest terror camp at Balakot, Pakistan today targeted Indian military installations, the government said.
There were damages on both sides. An F-16 jet of the Pakistan Air Force shot down by the IAF and India lost a MiG fighter jet, whose pilot is missing, the foreign ministry said. Pakistan has claimed that they have captured the pilot — a claim India said needs to be verified.
Pakistan’s reprisal came hours after Islamabad warned that it would respond at a “time and place of its own choosing”. Last night, Major General Asif Gafoor, spokesperson of the Pakistan Army, said, “We will surprise you, wait for that surprise… response will come differently”.
India has shot down Imran Khan’s repeated offers for dialogue, arguing that talks and terror can’t go hand in hand. A chunk of the International community has joined its voice to New Delhi’s repeated demand that Pakistan clean out the terror bases operating from its soil.
Pakistan has so far denied that it had any links to any of the terror attacks in India.
After the terror attack at the Pathankot air base two years ago — also conducted by Jaish — it had rejected the evidence submitted by India. After the February 14 Pulwama attack, Pakistan asked for evidence of the involvement of Jaish-e Mohammad.6 COMMENTS
Jaish chief Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, the chief of 26/11 attack in Mumbai, get a free run in Pakistan.