India-Pak tension LIVE Updates: Pakistani reporters and troops visit the site of an Indian airstrike in Jaba, near Balakot, Pakistan, Tuesday. (AP/PTI Photo)
India-Pakistan LIVE Updates: The Indian Army, Air Force and Navy will hold a joint press briefing at 5 pm on Thursday on the security situation between India and Pakistan. Tensions between the two countries heightened Wednesday after Pakistan violated India’s airspace in response to India’s counter-terrorism operation against Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Balakot. Following an aerial engagement, an Indian pilot was captured by the Pakistan Army.
India has demanded the immediate release of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan and has “made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel”.
India-Pak tension LIVE Updates: In this photo released by the PMO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security in New Delhi Tuesday, following the Indian Air Force’s strike on a terror camp in Balakot.
Early on Wednesday, Pakistan Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal Wednesday tweeted: "#PAF undertook strikes across LoC from Pakistani airspace. Sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We do not wish to escalate but are fully prepared if forced into that paradigm #PakistanZindabad."
The Pakistani government also said it had an IAF pilot in its custody.
A statement released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated, "India 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. India expects his immediate and safe return."
Protesting against the "unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India", the government 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."
Meanwhile, Pakistani troops have been targeting civilian hamlets and forward posts along the LoC since Tuesday evening. Defence Ministry Spokesperson Lt Colonel Devender Anand said retaliatory action has resulted in "severe destruction of five Pakistani posts and a number of casualties to Pak Army".
Ties between the two countries have escalated since the Jaish-e-Mohammed carried out an attack on a CRPF vehicle in Pulwama on February 14, which killed 40 personnel. India had subsequently struck a camp of the Pakistan-based terrorist group in Balakot on February 26.