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Friday, December 13, 2019

India-Pakistan tension highlights: Imran Khan says IAF pilot to return today

India-Pakistan tension: The Indian Air Forces expressed its happiness over the release of Abhinandan and said that his release is in consonance with the Geneva Convention.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 1, 2019 7:11:08 am
India-Pak tension LIVE updates: PM Modi chairs high-level meeting on security Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on security amid the heightened tensions with Pakistan.

India-Pakistan tension LIVE News: Hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan will be released tomorrow as a “peace gesture”, the Indian Air Forces expressed its happiness over the development and said that his release is in consonance with the Geneva Convention.

In a joint presser by the armed forces, the IAF also said there is enough evidence to show that Pakistan used F-16s to target Indian military installations in this mission. Pakistan has denied that F-16 was part of the operation–any such admission would violate US sale conditions of not letting Pakistan use F-16s in an offensive role.

India on Tuesday conducted non-military preemptive air strikes on a terror camp in Balakot. A day later, Pakistan Air Force aircraft (PAF) violated Indian airspace in J&K and attempted air strikes but caused little damage on the ground as the bombs fell in uninhabited areas near military installations. In the process of thwarting the PAF’s intrusion, the IAF lost a MiG-21 Bison–its pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who ejected across the Line of Control, after bringing down a Pakistani F-16 during the aerial confrontation to repel the Pakistani attack.

Live Blog

Tensions between Indian and Pakistan are high as IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman is under Islamabad's custody. Read highlights in Tamil


    22:32 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Separatist group Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir banned under anti-terror law

    Under section 3 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, Central Government declares the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), Jammu and Kashmir as an "unlawful association".

    22:30 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Social media shouldn’t allow content that can weaken country’s morale: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

    Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government had sent a notice to YouTube to take down "humiliating videos" of Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardhaman, captured by the Pakistan army. "We had received complaints that an unfortunate instance had come up where humiliating videos of the Wing Commander (Abhinandan) had been uploaded on YouTube from Pakistan side. We had sent a notice to YouTube and complying with the same they took down 11 such videos," he said.

    "In the light of the situation prevailing in the country today we expect the social media platforms to ensure that they should not allow their platform to be abused by content which is designed to weaken the morale of the country," he further said. 

    21:51 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Union Cabinet approves the J-K Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019

    In a media briefing, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said the Union Cabinet approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019. "Once the Ordinance is issued, it would pave the way for bringing persons residing in the areas adjoining International Border within the ambit of reservation at par with persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control," he said.

    21:20 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    UAE Crown Prince calls up PM Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan
    20:07 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    PM Modi chairs high level meet on security

    19:30 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Indian armed forces produce evidence of AARAM missile fired from Pakistani F-16
    19:24 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    'Enough evidence to show that Pakistan used F-16s in this mission'

    Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said there is enough evidence to show that F-16s were used in this mission through their electronic signatures. "Parts of AMRAAM, air to air missile which is carried only on the Pakistani F-16s was recovered east of Rajouri within the Indian territory," he said. Pakistan, however, had claimed that no F-16 was part of the operation--any such admission would violate US sale conditions of not letting Pakistan use F-16s in an offensive role

    19:21 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    'Happy that Wing Commander Abhinandan is returning tomorrow'

    In a joint presser by the Indian armed forces, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said that the IAF is happy that Wing Commander Abhinandan is returning tomorrow.  He also said that one Pakistani F-16 was shot down by an IAF MiG 21 Bison Aircraft., adding that parts of F-16 have been recovered, inside Indian territory. 

    19:12 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Happy that Wing Commander Abhinandan is returning tomorrow: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor

    Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor: One Pakistani F-16 was shot down by an IAF MiG 21 Bison Aircraft. East of Rajouri, parts of F-16 have been recovered, inside Indian territory. Also, IAF is happy that Wing Commander Abhinandan is returning tomorrow

    19:10 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Many factually incorrect statement made by Pakistan: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapur

    Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapur: There have many factually incorrect statements made by the Pakistan Air Force. Earlier, they said they had the custody of two IAF officers. Later in the evening, they retracted the statement and said only officer is under their custody

    19:04 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Army, Navy, Air Force joint presser underway
    18:54 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Time for our political leadership to take measures to de-escalate current situation: Mehbooba Mufti
    18:33 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    PM Modi: ‘Abhi abhi pilot project pura hua hai, abhi real karna hai’

    Minutes after his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan said captured IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman will be repatriated to India Friday as a “gesture of peace”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said; “Abhi abhiek pilot project pura ho gaya. Abhi real karna hai, pehletoh practice thi.”  READ more

    18:08 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Step towards goodwill: Amarinder on Pak govt's decision to release IAF pilot

    Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's decision to release captured IAF pilot Abhinandan is a step towards goodwill.  "I'm very happy, I had demanded his release earlier too. This is going to be a step towards goodwill and I hope this will be lasting," Singh was quoted as saying by ANI.

    17:46 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Relieved that Imran Khan announced Abhinandan's release: Omar Abdullah
    17:16 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Joint presser by Army, Navy and Air Force postponed to 7 pm

    Joint press briefing by Army, Navy and Air Force in New Delhi that was scheduled for 5 pm today has been postponed to 7 pm, ANI reported

    16:40 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Indian pilot will be released tomorrow: Pak PM Imran Khan

    Addressing a joint session, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman will be released tomorrow as a peace gesture, the Dawn reported.

    16:33 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    IT Ministry asks YouTube to remove video links of IAF pilot

    The IT Ministry has asked YouTube to remove 11 video links pertaining to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan during an air combat on Wednesday, according to sources. The ministry had asked YouTube to remove the clips following directive from the Home Ministry, a government source said, adding that the said links have now been removed. PTI

    16:02 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Want credible, verifiable action against terrorists emanating from Pak soil: Govt sources
    16:01 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Confident that Balakot air strikes were 100 percent on target: Govt sources

    Rubbishing Pakistan’s narrative that IAF air strikes in Balakot did not hit the targets, the government sources insisted that strikes were 100 per cent on target. In the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, India had carried out “pre-emptive” strikes against “biggest training camp” of JeM in Balakot in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, in which “a very large number” of JeM terrorists and their trainers were “eliminated”.

    15:05 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    India wants Abhinandan Varthama back immediately and unharmed: Govt sources

    India wants Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is in Pakistan custody, back immediately and unharmed and ruled out any question of a deal, government sources told The Indian Express.

    14:52 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Pakistan confirms receiving Indian dossier on Pulwama attack

    Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal confirmed that Islamabad has received dossier from India and said action will be taken on "any actionable intelligence" if found there in the dossier regarding the Pulwama terror attack, Radio Pakistan reported.

    14:16 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Explained: How a Prisoner of War must be treated

    Even though India and Pakistan have been careful not to use the ‘w’ word for the operations each has conducted on the other’s territory over two successive days, both sides are bound by the Geneva Conventions. This means the IAF officer in Pakistan custody is a prisoner of war, and his treatment has to be in accordance with the provisions for PoWs under the Geneva Conventions. Here are the provisions for PoWs.

    14:16 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Intel on Jaish camp in Balakot: Capacity of 600, 4 routes into J&K

    Days after India's air strike destroyed a terror camp in Balakot, a source said that a mosque was being used as a cover for the training camp. The facilities at the camp were spread over an area of 6 acres and comprised 5-6 buildings with a capacity to accommodate more than 600 people, they added.

    According to intelligence reports, the camp was used for radicalisation by showing propaganda videos on the IC 814 hijacking and the 2002 Godhra riots, officials said. They added that after training, the militants were sent to Jammu and Kashmir, primarily through four routes. They have been identified as Balakot-Kel-Dudhniyal, Kel-Kainthawali, Kel-Lolab district and Kel-Kachama Kralpora, an official said. All the routes led to Kupwara, the reports stated, according to an official.

    According to intelligence reports, the camp was used to impart training to militants in different types of courses like a three-month advanced combat course known as Daura-e-Khas, an advanced armed training course called Daum-al-Raad and a “refresher training programme,” an official said. Read more

    13:34 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Indian Army, IAF, Navy's joing presser today

    The Indian Army, Air Force and Navy will hold a joint press briefing at 5 pm today on the security situation between India and Pakistan

    13:31 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Express Editorial: Pakistan must promptly return the IAF pilot

    Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is reminder that conflict between nations has a terrible human toll, that it is a price that is always too high to pay. It is a cost, moreover, that imposes a duty on all — government, political leaders, media and civil society — to speak carefully and act with sobriety. It needs to be recognised that the events over the last couple of days may be the beginning of a long haul and that in these times, every step has consequences.

    The aerial strike on terror by the Indian Air Force inside Pakistan has undoubtedly set a new course in relations between the two neighbours. But the way forward will need to be negotiated day by difficult day.

    Read The Indian Express' editorial today

    13:10 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    May have some decent news from India, Pakistan: US President Donald Trump

    Talking about the tensions between India and Pakistan, US President Donald Trump said, "We may have some reasonably decent news from India and Pakistan." Trump was talking in Vietnam where he was there to attend a meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un

    12:59 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    MEA to brief Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs over Indo-Pak tension

    Thiruvananthapuram MP and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor says the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will brief the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs on the current situation with Pakistan at its meeting on Friday afternoon. The three-member committee is headed by Tharoor.

    12:19 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    IAF pilot Abhinandan’s capture rekindles memories of Nachiketa episode

    The capture of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is a grim reminder of the Kargil war when flight lieutenant K Nachiketa was taken prisoner by the Pakistan Army on May 27, 1999, following ejection from his MiG-27 aircraft after suffering engine flame-out. He was subsequently sent back to India eight days later after being interrogated by the authorities.

    Upon his capture by Pakistani Northern Infantry, Nachiketa was subjected to intense thrashing before a senior officer intervened and ordered his men to back off. Following intense backdoor efforts by the Indian government, Nachiketa was handed over to the Red Cross that brought him back to India where he was greeted by President K R Narayanan and Prime Minister Vajpayee as a hero. Read more

    12:01 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Russia expresses concern over 'aggravation' of Indo-Pak ties

    Russia also came out with a statement calling for restraint as Moscow expressed concern about the aggravation of relations between India and Pakistan.

    According to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, “Russia is concerned about the aggravation of relations between India and Pakistan and calls on both sides to show restraint.” The Russian Foreign ministry said, “We express our serious concern about the aggravation of the situation along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan and the outbreak of tensions between friendly states. We call on both sides to show restraint and step up efforts to resolve existing problems by political and diplomatic means.”

    11:59 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Pakistan's Fatima Bhutto calls for peace, release of IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman

    Author Fatima Bhutto, the granddaughter of former Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto asked the Pakistan government to release IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. She is also the niece of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In an op-ed in the New York Times, Bhutto wrote about the war that is playing out on social media between both India and Pakistan.

    "We have spent a lifetime at war. I do not want to see Pakistani soldiers die. I do not want to see Indian soldiers die. We cannot be a subcontinent of orphans," she wrote. "My generation of Pakistanis have fought for the right to speak, and we are not afraid to lend our voices to that most righteous cause: peace," she added.

    11:49 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    '#SayNotoWar," writes Malala Yousufzai; calls on both PMs to settle tension through dialogue

    Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai asked both Prime Minister Modi and Imran Khan to "show true leadership" and settle the tension and "long-standing conflict of Kashmir" through talks and dialogue. In a tweet that read 'Say no to war,' Malala said: "Citizens of both the countries know that the true enemies are terrorism, poverty, illiteracy and health crisis - not each other."

    11:40 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Pakistan suspends Samjhuta Express services to India

    Pakistani authorities suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India until further notice. In a statement released by Pakistani Foreign Ministry, Islamabad said the operations will resume as soon as the "security situation improves" between the two countries.

    The biweekly train between India and Pakistan was started on July 22, 1976, under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations. It is named after the Hindi word for "agreement", comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach.

    11:35 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    India-Pakistan tension: 'Alarming situation', says US lawmakers; call for dialogue

    Top US lawmakers also asked both India and Pakistan to settle their differences through negotiations and not war.

    Democratic presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard said, “To our friends in India and Pakistan: As nuclear powers, please remember it's your responsibility to the global community to settle differences through negotiations — not war. In times like this, cool heads must prevail." “The world is praying you will have the courage to work for peace,” said Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to US Congress and a four-time Democratic lawmaker. Congressman Brad Sherman, Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation hoped that the two countries will exercise maximum restraint. “We all hope that India and Pakistan will exercise maximum restraint during the current crisis. Diplomacy is the only path to resolve this conflict,” he said.

    Senator Ed Markey said the heightening tensions between Pakistan and India are "deeply alarming". “These two nuclear-armed states must commit to resolving this crisis peacefully, and the US should stand ready to assist. We must not allow conventional tensions to go nuclear,” Markey said.

    Senator Chris Murphy, Ranking Member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, urged the India and Pakistan to convene emergency high-level talks to de-escalate tensions between them. “Neither India nor Pakistan can allow this situation to escalate, and I strongly urge both countries to engage in talks and avoid any further military provocation,” Murphy said. "The US should not abdicate our diplomatic role here, either. President Trump should quickly nominate a qualified ambassador to Pakistan who can help diffuse tensions,” said Murphy. (PTI)

    11:28 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Union Cabinet meet later today

    A Union Cabinet meeting will be held Thursday at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

    11:28 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    Japan asks India-Pakistan to stabalize situation through 'dialogue'

    Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono also condemned the Pulwama attack and asked Pakistan to take strong measures to combat terrorism, reported news agency ANI. It also asked both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and stabilize the situation through dialogue.

    11:24 (IST)28 Feb 2019
    US, UK, France ask UNSC to list Jaish chief Azhar as 'global terrorist'

    Amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, a new attempt has been made at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for listing Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”. The fresh proposal has been moved by the US, the UK and France. The security council now has 10 working days to consider it.

    If the proposal is passed, Pakistan-based terror group JeM chief Masood Azhar will be tagged as a ‘UN-designated global terrorist’, which in turn would subject him to a global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo. Read more

    In the ongoing crisis, New Delhi has adopted a four-pronged approach with Pakistan. First, India accused Pakistan Air Force of targeting “Indian military installations” and summoned Pakistan’s Acting High Commissioner on Wednesday afternoon to lodge a “strong protest” at what it called its “unprovoked act of aggression” including “violation of the Indian airspace.” Second, India called Tuesday’s Balakot strike a non-military “anti-terror” pre-emptive strike and labelled it as a “counter-terror strike”.

    Third, Delhi told the Pakistan envoy 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.” And, lastly, India handed over a “dossier” to Pakistan with specific details of Jaish-e-Mohammad’s complicity in the Pulwama terror attack and the presence of its terror camps in Pakistan.

    Read | Highlights on tension between India and Pakistan

    India also objected to Pakistan’s "vulgar display of an injured personnel" of the IAF. It also called for his immediate return. “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,” the MEA said.

    Explained: Plight of pilot is X-factor as govt plans next steps

    Meanwhile, the global community has asked both the countries to show restraint. The US and EU asked Pakistan to take action against terrorist groups after France and Australia had done the same Tuesday. While France, UK and US on Wednesday called for “de-escalation” in their statements, Russia and China asked for exercising “restraint”.

    The European Union also said on Wednesday that it expected both countries to exercise “utmost restraint” and “avoid any further escalation of the situation”.

    France on Wednesday was the first to call on the two countries for “de-escalation”, as it was concerned about the deterioration of the situation. British PM Theresa May said that the UK is deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan and urgently called for “restraint” on both sides to “avoid further escalation”.

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