Amid escalating tension between the two nuclear-armed countries, India on Wednesday evening summoned the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan and lodged a strong protest “at the unprovoked act of aggression” by its air force. FOLLOW India-Pakistan LIVE News Updates
“Acting Pakistan envoy was summoned this afternoon by MEA to lodge a strong protest at the unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India earlier today, including by violation of Indian air space by Pak Air Force and targeting of Indian military posts. This is in contrast to India’s non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a JeM terrorist camp in Balakot on 26 February 2019,” the MEA said in a statement.
Expressing concern over Pakistan failing to oblige bilateral commitment in fighting terrorism, the MEA in its statement said, “It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India”.
Defending India’s air strike at terror camps in Pakistan on Tuesday morning, the MEA said, “It was clearly conveyed that India reserves the right to take firm and decisive action to protect its national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity against any act of aggression or cross-border terrorism.”
The government also lashed out at Pakistan over the attack on IAF pilot who was captured alive by its forces on Wednesday morning after the combat between the air forces of the two countries along the LoC. India sought immediate return of the pilot.
“India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return,” said the MEA.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistan Army released a video in which an IAF pilot is seen identifying himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan. Retracting from its earlier statement that two Indian pilots were in its custody, Pakistan Army later said that only one IAF pilot was captured by its forces. “There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Commander Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics,” Pakistani military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor posted on Twitter.
The government also slammed Pakistan for its repeated denial of the presence of terrorist infrastructure in its territories. “Regret was expressed at continuing denial by Pakistan’s political and and military leadership at the presence of terrorist infrastructure in territories under its control,” said the MEA adding, “A dossier was handed over to Pakistan side with specific details of JeM complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan.”