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India won't buckle under pressure, forces given free hand to take future course of action

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led committee has decided that India will not buckle under pressure. Navy, Air and Army have been given a free hand to take a future course of action. A befitting reply would be given at a proper time.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 27, 2019  | 22:40 IST
India won't buckle under pressure, forces given free hand to take future course of action
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led committee has decided that India will not buckle under pressure. Navy, Air and Army have been given a free hand to take a future course of action.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a crucial security meeting in the wake of escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. The PM Modi-led committee has decided that India will not buckle under pressure. Navy, Air Force and Army have been given a free hand to take a future course of action. A befitting reply would be given at a proper time. Earlier today, Pakistan claimed its air force shot down not one but two Indian aircraft that entered its territory. One of the fighters crashed in Pakistan-controlled territory and its pilot was taken into custody. The Pakistan government also claimed to have two Indian pilots in its custody, but later changed his statement in a tweet saying there was only one.

The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed that an Indian Air Force pilot was 'missing in action' and that a MiG-21 jet was 'lost' during a confrontation between the Indian Air Force and Pakistan Air Force this morning. The Indian Air Force has also said that a Pakistan fighter jet that had violated the Indian airspace in Lam district of Nowshera sector in J&K has been shot down. India registered a strong-worded objection to Pakistan's unwarranted advances into Indian airspace and advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian pilot. India also said that it expects safe and immediate return of its aviator.

Catch all the latest updates on the India-Pakistan conflict on BusinessToday.In live blog.

10:10pm:

10:05pm:

10:00pm:Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarter, Union minister Prakash Javadekar rejected the joint statement of 21 opposition parties, saying the allegation levelled by the opposition is 'baseless'. The opposition parties had alleged that BJP was politicising the sacrifices of armed forces.

9:55pm : In a high level meeting-headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was decided that India will not buckle under pressure. Navy, Air and Army have been given a free hand to take a future course of action. A befitting reply would be given at a proper time.

9:45pm:Union Minister Prakash Javadekar will address a press conference at the BJP Headquarters shortly.

9:40pm:A newborn baby in Rajasthan's Ajmer region has been named after the Mirage 2000 fighter jets used by the Indian Air Force in Tuesday's air strikes against Pakistan-based terror camps, ANI has reported.

9:30pm:Air Canada has temporarily suspended service to India due the closure of Pakistani airspace by Indian government.

9:00pm:All government and private schools located near Line of Control and international border to remain closed tomorrow.

8:30pm:India on Wednesday handed over to Pakistan a dossier detailing involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead. 

8:25pm:Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in a statement said, "As advised by security agencies, Red Alert has been imposed in enitre DMRC netwok from 6 pm onwards today."

8:20pm:

8:10pm:DMK president MK Stalin urged the Modi government to take all necessary steps to rescue Wing Commander Abhinandan. "My thoughts are with the family and friends of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman."

8:00pm:In wake of rising tensions between India and Pakistan, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has cancelled a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and the 'Jan Sankalp rally' which was to be held here on Thursday, reports PTI.

7:50pm:The Indian Railways on Wednesday said the Samjhauta Express will continue to run as per schedule from Delhi to Attari in India, amidst reports that Pakistan has suspended its operations between Wagah to Lahore on its side.

7:40pm:Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a meeting with security and intelligence officials, in presence of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, after Pakistan Air Force jets intruded in the Indian airspace early morning today, sources said.

7:35pm: Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy says nation stands in solidarity with armed forces.

7:30pm:Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met top officials of army, paramilitary and the police to review the current situation in border areas, ANI has reported.

7.20pm:UK Prime Minister Theresa May has expressed concern over rising tension between India and Pakistan, urging both countries to exercise restraint. "We're in regular contact with both countries, urging dialogue and diplomatic solutions to ensure regional stability," May said.

"We are working closely with international partners including through the UN Security Council to de-escalate tensions and are monitoring developments closely and considering implications for British nationals," May was quoted as saying by ANI.

7.00pm: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Krishna Ghati and Mendhar sector of Poonch

6.55pm: Before Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah, India also registered its strong objection to the nation'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 also cautioned Pakistan to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return.

6.50pm:Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah has left the Ministry of External Affairs. The Ministry had called him to register its protest against Pakistan Air Force aircraft violating Indian airspace after the non-military surgical strike by India against terror camps in Pakistan.

"It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation & bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India," the Ministry of External Affairs told the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan.

6.20pm:Pakistan army spokesperson has said that they only have one Indian pilot in custody. Earlier claims by Pakistan stated that two IAF pilots have been captured in PoK.

6.10pm: "PM Modi must suspend his political activities until Wing Commander Abhinandan is returned safely. It can't be business as usual with him cross crossing the country at tax payer expense making political speeches while our pilot is a Pakistani captive," former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.

PM Narendra Modi is yet to make a statement in light of various airspace violations by Pakistan or the claims by the neighbouring nation that it has an Indian pilot in its custody.

6.00pm: After a meeting of Opposition leaders, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that they condemn Pakistani misadventure and expressed deep concern for safety of the missing IAF pilot.

5.30pm: Russia has called for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint in the face of escalating tensions between the two neighbouring nations. Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that they are concerned about the aggravation of relations.

5.24pm: Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah (on the right) arrives at South Block after being summoned by Ministry of External Affairs.

5.20pm:Commercial operations at Amritsar airport, which was suspended early in the day, began even as the airports in Chandigarh, Pathankot, Halwara, Adampur and Bathinda remained on high alert in view of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, reported PTI.

5.10pm: National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah Wednesday called for de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan and asked both the countries to maintain "maximum restraint" for the "greater good of humanity".  "History bears testimony to the fact that war did not help both the neighbours resolve their long pending issues. It is in the interest of our region if both the countries shun war rhetoric," Abdullah said in a statement issued by the party, reported PTI.

5.00pm:"I pray for the safety of Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan," Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

4.52pm:Our prayers are with the brave IAF pilot & his family in this very difficult time, says Asaduddin Owaisi, the president of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party.

4.42pm: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav say the nation stands with him (the missing pilot) and is praying for his safe return. "I am praying for the safe return of our brave pilot. May God protect you and give you courage and strength. The nation stands with you," Akhilesh said in a tweet.

4.38pm: Imran Khan's video broadcast edited at least seven times, says India Today TV. "Two of India's MiGs were shot down...from here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom," says Imran Khan.

4.20pm: Bring our pilot back safely, Congress tells govt: "We're saddened by the news that one of our @IAF_MCC pilots is missing in action, we urge the Govt to bring him back safely," says the Congress.

4.13pm: 'Can't afford miscalculations': Imran Khan says "I ask India .... the weapons they have and we have, can we afford a miscalculation? If this escalates, it won't be in my control and won't be in Modi's," reported Dawn.

4.07pm: Better sense should prevail, says Imran Khan: "Two of India's MiGs were shot down (during the action ). From here, it is imperative that we use our heads and act with wisdom," Imran Khan during a televised address says. "We should sit and settle this with talks."

3.40pm: India shot down Pak fighter gets, confirms India: The MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar says that Indian Air Force had launched a counter-terrorism action against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks. "Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan's attempts were foiled successfully," Kumar said. "In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side.

3.25pm: Pakistan has not formally informed India about the detention of a pilot it claims to have in its custody, reports ANI. Contrary to Pakistan's claim of arresting two pilots, the Indian government has said only one pilot is missing.

3.18pm: India confirms one pilot has been arrested: "One Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by Indian Air Force. In this engagement we have lost one MiG 21. Pilot is lost in action. Pakistan claims he is in their custody," says MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

3.08pm:Pak summons India's Acting High Commissioner: Pakistan has summoned India's Acting High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to Islamabad hours after it claimed that Pakistan Air Force has arrested two India pilots after shooting down IAF jets. 

3.03pm: Airport shutdown order withdrawn: The government has withdrawn the airport shutdown order, the Airport Authority of India has confirmed. Now the civilian flight activity is expected to resume soon.

3.02pm: PM Modi holds security meet: Top security and intelligence officials have huddled into a meet at the Prime Minister's Office in the wake of Pakistan Air Force jets violating the Indian airspace, PTI reported. Pakistan has claimed that it has arrested two Indian pilots, one of which is admitted in hospital.

2.55pm: Pak cancels all flights: Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority says it shut its airspace to all commercial flights as tensions with India escalate.

2.51pm:Govt to address media: Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale to brief media at 3:15 pm. The government will likely clear the air on the arrest of an Indian Air Force Wing Commander by Pakistan.

2.40pm: Emergency meets in J&K, Rajashtan: Civil and police officials call an emergency meeting in Jammu and Kashmir. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has also called a meeting to assess the escalating situation between India and Pakistan.

2.30pm: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held a high level meeting to assess the security situation in the wake of the developments of the morning, including Pakistan claiming that it had shot down two Indian military jets and arrested two pilots, reports PTI.

2.15pm:Airspace above New Delhi vacated: The entire airspace north of the Indian capital has been vacated, reports PTI. The skies above New Delhi were vacated as nine airports in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab were closed for civilian air traffic on a day of rapidly escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.

2.05pm: Shot down 2 Indian jets, claims Pak: Pakistan Air Force claims it has shot down two Indian aircraft inside the Pakistani airspace. The PAF also claims to have arrested two pilots. It has not come out with any statement to authenticate the claim so far.

1.55pm: Army, Navy, Air Force on highest alert: The Army and BSF have been put on the highest degree of alertness along the border here after air space violations by the neighbouring country and the night-long heavy firing and shelling by Pakistani troops on forward and civilians areas across the LoC. Authorities have ordered temporary closure of educational institutions in a 5-km radius along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri and Poonch districts on Wednesday amid mounting tensions between the two countries, following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 and an Indian air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed camp inside Pakistan on Tuesday, reported PTI.

1.40pm: 'We want peace,' says Pak: Pakistan's Director General of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor, holds a press conference on the increasing tension with India. "We locked all targets with accuracy, and when we had option to fire, we acted responsibly from a safe distance. We have capability to do anything, but we don't want escalation. We don't want to go towards war," he says, quoted Geo TV.

1.25pm:About 60 flights scheduled for tomorrow have been cancelled and the number is likely to go up, reports News18.

1.18pm:Air traffic suspended at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace are now being affected, ANI reported.

1.16pm: 'We will not sit back,' says Pak: "Our Foreign Minister's letter to the UN Secretary General about India's act of aggression against Pakistan, has been circulated as a document to the UN Security Council today , at our request," says Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi. "We will not sit back," she told BBC radio.

1.12pm: Exercise restraint, China tells India, Pak: China's Foreign Ministry has it reiterated its call for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint. Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the comment at a regular news briefing in Beijing. Pakistan shot down two Indian jets on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Pakistan armed forces said, a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a war in 1971, prompting leading powers to urge both sides to show restraint, reported Reuters.

1.05pm: 'India-Pak tension will hurt Afghan peace process': The Taliban has said ongoing clashes between India and Pakistan will affect the Afghan peace process and wanted India to prevent the further escalation of violence with its neighbour. The hardline insurgent group issued the statement at the same time its leaders are holding peace talks with officials from the United States in Qatar to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan. "The continuation of such conflict will affect the Afghanistan peace process," Taliban Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement, reported Reuters.

12.56pm: The Indian Air Force is also likely to issue a detailed statement soon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been briefed on the escalating situation along the border with Pakistan.

 

12.54pm: Pak peddles fake news: The Pakistan government has put out a fake video claiming its security forces shot down an Indian fighter jet. DG lSPR Major General Asif Ghafoor will shortly address a press conference in Rawalpindi.

12.48pm: International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace now being affected, reports ANI. Some flights returning to origin, while others appear to be seeking alternate routing.

12.39pm: Pakistan has immediately stops its domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports, reports ANI. Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations will soon brief the media on the prevailing situation.

12.36pm: Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan's MoFA spokesperson, says "we are fully prepared". "PAF undertook strikes across LoC from Pakistani airspace. Sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence."

12.29pm: 5 airports closed for civilian flights: Srinagar,Jammu and Leh airports were among five airports closed on Wednesday for civilian air traffic shortly after an IAF jet crashed in Kashmir's Budgam district, officials said. The move to close the five airports comes amid escalation of tension between India and Pakistan after IAF carried out strikes on terror bases in Pakistan. Airports at Chandigarh and Amritsar were among those closed, according to airline officials. In Srinagar, an official of the Airports Authority of India told PTI, "The civilian air traffic has been suspended temporarily in view of the emergency". Flight operations have been suspended at Amritsar airport, reported ANI.

12.26pm: SSP Budgam on the aircraft crash in J&K's Budgam: "Technical team is here, they'll ascertain facts. We have found 2 bodies so far and have evacuated them. Search is going on here."

12.19pm: Vistara on the cancellation of flights: "Due to airspace restrictions, flights to and from Amritsar, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Jammu are currently on hold. Customers are requested to check flight status before commencing their journey to the airport."

12.06pm:Pakistan Air Force's F-16 that violated Indian air space shot down in Indian retaliatory fire 3KM within Pakistan territory in Lam valley, Nowshera sector, reported ANI. "Parachute seen as Pakistan Air Force's F-16 was going down, condition of the pilot is unknown," reported ANI.

11.55am: Pak says it shot down 2 Indian aircraft: "In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area," claims Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson, Pakistan Armed Forces.

11.42am: Civilian air traffic suspended from Srinagar airport: Reports suggest the government has shut down commercial flights from all airports including Chandigarh, Leh and Kashmir. Several IndiGo and SpiceJet flights cancelled to these areas.

11.35am: News agency PTI says Pakistani forces dropped bombs after violating the Indian airspace in Rajauri district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian air defence system has been put on the highest alert.

11.27am: The visuals from the crash site of a military aircraft in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam area; two pilots are feared dead in the crash. "Two bodies have been found at the crash site."

11.19am: Pakistan fighter jets violate the Indian airspace: Reports said Pak jets were forced to retreat after major retaliation by the Indian Army. Pakistani jets violated the Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district (Nowshera sector), PTI confirmed, adding that they were immediately pushed back by Indian jets on air patrol.

11.07am: Indian Air Force's MiG crashes in Kashmir's Budgam area; two pilots are feared dead.

11.03am: 'No country spoke in Pak's favour': "It is telling that no country has spoken out in Pakistan's favour after the Indian air strike," Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, told PTI. Even China called for restraint on both sides instead of supporting Pakistan in protesting India's violation of Pakistan's air space, he added.

10.52am: Rajnath Singh meets Doval: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh holds a meeting with National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and top officials of the intelligence agencies in wake of the prevailing tension between India and Pakistan, reported News 18.

10.40am: Pakistan has again violated ceasefire in the Poonch area. Heavy firing mortar shells by Pakistani troops, say security officials.

10.35am: Pak steps up international pressure on India: Pakistan says it will skip the OIC (Organisation ofIslamic Cooperation) meet in Abu Dhabi if India will be invited. "I have made myself clear that India has shown aggression. Under the current circumstances, it will not be possible for me to attend OIC meeting where Sushma Swaraj is present," says Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

10.21am:Pakistan's National Command Authority to meet today: Pakistan's National Command Authority, apex civilian-led command head by Imran Khan, is meeting today to discuss a response to India's air strikes in Pak-based terror camps. The body oversees the policy formulation, exercises, deployment, research and development, employment and operational command and control of the Pakistan nuclear arsenals, reported Geo TV.

10.15am: A major rehearsal was carried out before Surgical Strike 2.0:Indian Air Force, Army and the intelligence agencies had carried out a rehearsal in coordination with the NSA Ajit Doval before carrying out the intelligence based operation of carrying out surgical strikes in Pakistan. The Indian Army played a very crucial role in identifying terrorist camp and the main terrorists operating out of the Jaish camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunwa in Pakistan, reported India Today.

10.05am: Nirmala Sitharaman to meet chiefs of Army, IAF, Navy: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba to meet shortly today over important proposals for the Armed forces, reported ANI.

10.01am: Our borders are safe! A day after the India conducted air strikes on Pakistan-based terror camps, the Indian Army posts a poem on Twitter. ADG PO, Indian Army, had put a poem on Wednesday too.

9.50am: IAF air strike tribute to Pulwama martyrs, says Bhagwat: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said the IAF air strike on a terrorist training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group behind the suicide bombing targeting CRPF personnel in Pulwama, inside Pakistan was a tribute to the martyrs of the February 14 assault. He recalled legendary freedom fighter Veer Savarkar's observation that India needs to become powerful because without power, nobody listens. "We, as a nation, have the right to take the name of Veer Savarkar, because today we have paid a very appropriate 13th-day tribute to the 40 CRPF jawans martyred in Pulwama," he said amid slogans of 'Vande Mataram', as quoted by PTI.

9.46am: Shireen Mazari, Minister for Human Rights in PM Imran Khan's cabinet, at UNHRC: "Pakistan condemns India's unprovoked aggression on Pakistani soil which is yet another violation of international laws that will disrupt regional peace."

9.40am: J&K governor reviews security situation: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik reviewed the prevailing law and order and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with senior officials following the Indian Air Force strike against Jaish-e-Mohammed camp inside Pakistan, an official spokesperson said. Malik directed all forces to take effective measures to maintain public order across the state. Praising people for maintaining compose, he said his administration is concerned about their welfare and, if necessary, it would communicate directly with them through radio, TV and other means, reported PTI.

9.24am: BJP Nation General Secretary Ram Madhav says a Pakistan national was among the two JeM terrorists killed in an encounter in Shopian.

9.20am: United Nations Secretary-General AntonioGuterres has urged both India and Pakistan for "maximum restraint toensure that the situation does not further deteriorate", reported IANS.

9.13am: In an exchange of fire along the LoC, five soldiers ofIndian Army suffered minor injuries out of which two soldiers were evacuated toMilitary Hospital for medical treatment and are in stable condition.

9.05am:Two terrorists affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) have been killed in the encounter in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. The bodies of both the terrorists have been recovered. The entire operation is over for now.

8.58am: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says: "I expressed to both Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both Ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity."

8.55am: US tells Pak to take 'meaningful' action against terror groups. "I spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil," says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

8.40am: The Pakistan Army has resorted to heavy mortar shelling in Kamalkot area of Uri. All schools within 5km of the LoC have been closed for Wednesday in Poonch and Rajouri.

8.35am:'It's your turn to get ready for our surprise,' says Pakistan.

8.30am: Sushma Swaraj raises issue of Pulwma terror attack with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi: "I am visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India. It is the worst terrorist attack directed against our security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. The attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation."

8.15am: Union Minister for External Affair Sushma Swaraj at 16th Foreign Ministers Meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC): "We're aware of the recent dastardly terrorist attack on our security forces in Pulwama, J&K perpetrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan based & supported terrorist org proscribed by UN & other countries. We lost over CRPF 40 personnel while several others are injured seriously."

8.00am: Pakistani troops resort to heavy firing all through the night at many places along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts. Army retaliated effectively to Pakistani firing. Heavy damage was inflicted on the enemy, Army officials said, adding that the extent of damage on the enemy is being assessed.

7.45am:Five Army personnel have been injured in heavy exchange of firing along the border.

7.15am: An encounter has broken out on Wednesday morning between militants and security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said, reported PTI.

7.30am:A major cordon and search operation is going on in Meemendar area of Shopian following information about presence of militants there. They said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened firing towards the security forces, who retaliated, reported PTI.

Edited by Manoj Sharma

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