Pakistan closes airspace as India tensions rise: Aviation authority

Posted March 01, 2019

New Delhi also confirmed the loss of one of its planes and said it had shot down a Pakistani fighter jet.

Pakistan has closed its airspace, a European air traffic control agency said on Wednesday, amid rising tensions and military activity between Pakistan and India. Flights at the airport have been directed not to take off.

He went on to state that when the IAF responded to the Pakistan Air Force's attempts a MiG 21 Bison of the IAF shot down one PAF fighter aircraft. But we are a responsible nation and want peace.

Pakistan denies this, saying the attack was a failure and no one died, with bombs dropped on a largely empty hillside.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said on Wednesday morning that Pakistani jets had launched air strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Pakistani- and Indian-controlled Kashmir. PAF shot down two Indian Aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace.

In his speech announcing Pakistan's "forced" military response on Wednesday to the Indian airstrikes that allegedly killed civilians, PM Khan declared, "We just wanted to tell India that we have the capability that if you can enter our country, we can also enter your country and take action. We decided that no human life should be endangered in our strikes", Ghafoor said.

Giving details, the DG ISPR said Pakistan Air Force engaged six targets from across the Line of Control in Occupied Kashmir this morning.

The Indian air force has ordered Kashmir's main airport in Srinagar along with at least three others in neighboring states to close because of the two incidents, an official said.

India has also continued its crackdown on suspected militants operating in Kashmir, a mountainous region that both countries claim in full but rule in part.

While both sides have sought to play down the threat of war, the rare aerial engagement over the divided and disputed territory of Kashmir significantly raises the stakes in a standoff sparked by a suicide attack on the Indian-controlled side earlier this month.

In a significant gain for India in its push to isolate Pakistan internationally on the issue of terrorism post-Pulwama attack, China and Russian Federation on Wednesday agreed for a closer policy coordination to eradicate the "breeding grounds of terrorism".

Passengers travelling to and from Pakistan or India can check their flight status here.Pakistan closed its airspace Wednesday, the civil aviation authority and the military said, as fears spiked of an all-out conflict with neighbour India. An Indian military statement said that "out of anger and frustration", Pakistan "initiated unprovoked cease-fire violation".

Troops from India and Pakistan first exchanged fire on Thursday in the Poonch district for over an hour at 6 a.m., according to a statement from the Indian army.

In New Delhi, India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Wednesday her country does not wished to see further escalation of the situation with Pakistan and that it will continue to act with responsibility and restraint.

"Following the Pulwama terrorist attack, instead of taking seriously the calls by worldwide community to act against Jaish-e-Mohammad and other terror groups based in Pakistan, it denied any knowledge of the attack and dismissed outright claims by JeM", she said.

The incidents are the latest in a unsafe sequence of events between the two countries, whose ties have been under intense strain since the February 14 suicide bombing in Indian Kashmir that killed 40 troops.

"After the Pulwama attack we offered India that we are ready for any type of investigation".