The conflict over Kashmir between Pakistan and India escalated on Wednesday when Pakistan shot down two Indian military jets over the ceasefire line. It also reportedly captured two Indian pilots. The two nuclear powers have been at war over the Kashmir region several times over the past decades claiming the territory for themselves. This week’s attacks were the first ones since the war in 1971.
Pakistan published footage of one of the captured Indian pilots who said his name was Abhinandan. He also gave his rank and service number. The video shows his clothes are full of blood and he was blindfolded.
The attack came after India had carried out an air strike against a Pakistani militant training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group which had previously claimed responsibility for a suicide attack killing 40 paramilitaries on the Indian part of Kashmir. However, India’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, has said that “no military installations were targeted,” and that “the limited objective of the pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of the JeM in order to pre-empt another terrorist attack in India.”
Concerning the Pakistani airstrike, Pakistan’s military spokesman Maj Gen Ghafoor said in a briefing that Pakistan had not entered Indian airspace: “We want to send the message that we have the ability to strike, the capability for self defence, but in the way of a responsible nation”.
Subsequently, Pakistan has closed its airspace. In India, nine airports have been closed.