New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday said that an Indian Air Force pilot, who had taken off in a military aircraft earlier in the day, is missing.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, addressed a brief press conference in the national capital today, saying, "Pakistan targeted military operations on the Indian side. One Pakistani Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by Indian Air Force. In this engagement. We have lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts."
"India had informed about Counter-Terrorism action it took yesterday against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan based on credible evidence that Jaish-e-Mohammed 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 attempts were foiled successfully.
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 Pakistan aircraft was seen by the ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21 Bison. The pilot is missing in action and Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are asserting the facts."
News agency ANI shared a video of Raveesh Kumar's address. Watch:
#WATCH Raveesh Kumar, MEA: One Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by Indian Air Force. In this engagement, we have lost one MiG 21. Pilot is missing in action. Pakistan claims he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts. pic.twitter.com/Bm0nVChuzF
— ANI (@ANI) February 27, 2019
Both officials did not take any questions from the media.
The Pakistan military has claimed to have arrested two Indian pilots, saying one of them is in the hospital.
Earlier, the IAF scrambled and pushed back Pakistani fighter jets which intruded into the Nowshera sector in Jammu and Kashmir. An Indian military aircraft, however, crashed in Badgam in Jammu and Kashmir, 7 kilometres from the Srinagar International Airport, police said.
This and the Pakistani action led to the suspension of commercial flights across at least eight cities including Leh, Pathankot, Jammu, Srinagar and Amritsar. But the operations were ordered resumed within hours.
Indian Air Defence Systems have been on maximum alert since Tuesday.
Simultaneously, Indian and Pakistani troops traded heavy fire using mortars and small arms in Jammu and Kashmir`s Uri sector, Defence Ministry sources said. The clash occurred in Kamalkote area. Intermittent heavy firing was also reported at 40 places on the LoC including Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu districts since Tuesday night.
The Indian attack on the JeM training camp came 12 days after a suicide bomber killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers in the worst terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy hit the state in 1989.