New Delhi: This was probably the third time
that Indian pilots have landed inside Pakistani territory and
have come back safely.
"I can recall two earlier incidents where Indian pilots
landed inside Pakistan during war times and were taken as
Prisoners of War (PoW) but then returned safely.
"First was during 1965 war when Air Marshal Sikand (then
Sqn Ldr) and second time when Flt Lt K Nachiketa was shot down
over Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) during the Kargil war,"
Air Marshal (retd) AK Singh said.
Singh, who was Western Air Commander till 2007, also took
part in the Kargil war as the in-charge of air operations of
He said on both the occasions, the pilots were released
after remaining in captivity for relatively a longer time as
they were taking part in war operations and were on enemy
Flt Lt Nachiketa was taken as a prisoner by the Pakistan
Army on 27 May 1999 following ejection from his MiG-27
aircraft after suffering engine flame-out and sent back to
India on June 3, 1999 after being interrogated by the
"In today`s incident, the two pilots had strayed into
their territory due to inclement weather and there is no war
or war-like situation between the two sides. The helicopter
was also not meant for any kind of reconnaissance mission,"
The former Commander said during the 2005 earthquake
relief operations, there were a few instances where Pakistani
choppers had strayed over the Line of Control (LoC) over to
the Indian side but since it was for humanitarian effort, no
one objected to it.