India-Pakistan tension: IAF shows evidence of crashed F-16, exposes Pakistan's lie
BusinessToday.In February 28, 2019
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be released on Friday. Addressing Pakistani parliament, Pakistan PM said that the Indian pilot captured by Pakistan Air Force a day earlier will be released tomorrow as a 'peace gesture'. "In our desire for peace, I announce that tomorrow, and as a first step to open negotiations, Pakistan will be releasing the Indian Air Force officer in our custody," PM Khan said.
Following that, the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy jointly addressed a press conference and spoke about the dogfight between the two air forces on Wednesday. All the three chiefs in their address said that the Pakistani forces were targeting military installations of the Indian forces. Air Vice Marshal also showed proof that Pakistan had, indeed used F-16s fighter jets, unlike what they claimed.
Catch all the latest updates on the India-Pakistan conflict on BusinessToday.In LIVE blog.
9.51pm: Union Cabinet has approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the briefing after the its meeting on Thursday.
The ordinance, once issued, will allow to bring persons residing in the areas close to the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir within the ambit of reservation, and at par with persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control, Jaitley said.
8:14pm: India has suspended Samjhauta Express till March 3, 2019 till further notification, the Northern Railways CPRO told ANI.
7:41pm: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said, "We are happy that our pilot who had fallen across the Line of Control and was in custody of Pakistan is being released, we're extremely happy to have him back. We only see it as a gesture which is in consonance with all Geneva conventions."
7:41pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a high level meeting on security.
7:39pm: For anyone wondering what the process to repatriate IAF pilot Abhinandan to India from Pakistan will be, read more here .
7:36pm: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said, "We have evidence to show that whatever we wanted to do and targets we wanted to destroy, we have done that. Decision to show the evidence is on senior leadership."
7:29pm: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said that Pakistan only has F-16s that can fit an AIM-120C AMRAAM missile. Pakistan had earlier denied deploying any F-16.
7:25pm: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor replying to a question on bombing on JeM terror camps in Balakot said that it is premature to say number of casualties on the camp. "Whatever we intended to destroy we got that result," he said.
7:22pm: All the three chiefs said that Pakistan tried to destroy installations of the Indian forces.
7:20pm: Major General Surinder Singh Mahal said, "Despite the turn of events Indian Army is committed to maintain peace and stability in the region."
7:18pm: "We are ready for any misadventure by Pakistan and we are ready for resolute action. We want to ensure safety and security of our citizens," said Admiral Gujral of the Indian Navy.
7:16pm: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said 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.
7:15pm: Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said: IAF fighters were tasked to intercept the intruding Pakistani aircraft and managed to thwart them. Although PAF jets dropped bombs, they were not able to cause any damage.
7:01pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, "After air strike, PM did not hold any all party meet. We want to know details of the operation. Where the bomb was dropped? How many people died? I was reading foreign media and they said that none died and some media houses said one died. We want to know the details."
6:58pm: Joint press briefing by Army, Navy and Air Force to begin shortly at South Block.
6:45pm: PM Narendra Modi during the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi said, "Pilot project hone ke baad scalable kiya jata hai, to abhi abhi ek pilot project ho gaya, abhi real karna hai, pehle to practice thi." (Once the pilot project is done, only then it is scaled. We just had one pilot project now, the real deal is still left. This was just practice.)
6:40pm: Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti said, "Good news,whole nation will be relieved. I hope our leadership will also reciprocate this peace gesture. I hope Imran Khan will stand by his word and take steps on Indian dossier on Pulwama attack. Imran Khan has acted like a statesman."
6:35pm: Batsman Shikhar Dhawan says he is eagerly waiting for the pilot's return.
6:25pm: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik makes a sand sculpture of the IAF pilot.
6:15pm: What are the Geneva Conventions that may have, perhaps, helped in the release of IAF pilot Abhinandan? They contain the most important rules regulating the conduct of armed conflicts and seeks to specifically protect civilians, health and aid workers, as well as soldiers no longer participating in the hostilities, such as prisoners of war (PoW) and wounded personnel. Read more about it here.
6:03pm: Visuals of the AIM120C missile used by PAF on IAF MiG-21.
5:46pm: Chinese military said it was "closely watching" the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and called for restraint by both the neighbours. It called India and China "friends of China" and said that they should resolve the issue through dialogue.
5:44pm: Top sources in the security establishment said the Prime Minister PM was adamant that the Pakistani intention to use Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as a bargaining chip would not be accepted at all and he has to be released unconditionally. Sources said that the announcement by Pakistan to return the Indian Air Force officer was major victory for the Indian side. Prime Minister went on a global offensive through his security team including NSA Ajit Doval and Foriegn Minister Sushma Swaraj where they contacted major global powers to put pressure on the International community to intervene. NSA held talks with the American Secretary of State and their National Security Advisor. Sushma Swaraj also dialed the Arab world to pressurize the Pakistanis to release the officer and not play any politics over it.
5:41pm: No compromises made on Pak talk proposal in getting Wg Cdr Abhinandan back, mentioned a government's release. The IAF wing commander would be released through the Wagah border.
5:34pm: Ajay Maken welcomes back the Indian pilot.
5:25pm: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said, "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."
5:20pm: Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto, niece of former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto said that this move of returning the IAF pilot can only be commended.
5:15pm: Joint press briefing by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force that was scheduled for 5:00 pm has been postponed till 7:00 pm.
5:00pm: At their Parliament session Pakistani Imran Khan had said that talks over Kashmir are important, further adding, ""I have a feeling that the Indian public does not agree with the current government's warmongering. If their media had seen what our media has seen over the past 17 years, they would not have created this war hysteria."
4:55pm: In today's briefing, the Indian side will expose the Pakistani lies in the entire episode. Air Vice Marshal Ravi Kapoor from Airforce and Maj Gen Surinder Mahal and Rear Admiral DS Gujral to represent Air Force and army at the briefing at 5pm.
4:50pm: Addressing Pakistan's National Assembly, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan to release IAF pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, tomorrow as a peace gesture.
3.55pm: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan may call Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of rising tension between India and Pakistan, reported News18. He had earlier said the only way was to have a dialogue. "If matters became worse, it will be out of Imran Khan or Narendra Modi's control," he added. Watch here.
3.40pm: Indian yet to take call on Samjhauta Express: The Indian Railways is yet to decide whether to run the Samjhauta Express train on its side on Thursday and beyond, even as Pakistan suspended its services on its end, officials told PTI, amidst strain in ties in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack and subsequent developments. The train is scheduled to run from Attari to Delhi at 8pm Thursday. The decision on whether the Indian side will run the train from Attari to Delhi -- with both Pakistani and Indian passengers on board -- is yet to be taken, they said. Pakistan on Wednesday cancelled the train's trip on the Wagah-Lahore stretch on their side, even as 27 passengers -- 23 Indians and three from the neighbouring country -- arrived at Attari from Delhi on an Indian rake which left the Old Delhi Railway station at 11:20pm last night.
3.24pm: War is in no nation's interest, says PTI: Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in a tweet, said: "We hope you (India) understand that you were manipulated into war mongering...isolate the people who are desperate to win an election. War is in no nation's interest, and its soldiers and civilians who are the collateral damage. Don't let one man use it for political mileage."
3.15pm: Capt Amarinder Singh meets BSF personnel: Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh interacts with BSF personnel in Tarn Taran district of the state.
2:53pm: Pakistan has lied to international community on Jaish-e-Mohammed, about two pilots in custody. They lied on Indian ships approaching, they have lied on missile strikes, sources told ANI.
2:50pm: India did not consider giving actionable intel earlier as Pak has not acted in past on actionable inputs on Mumbai nd Pathankot, ANI has reported.
2:47pm: Pakistan is trying to create a Kandahar type pressure but India will not give in, there will be no deal or talks on Wing Commander AbhinandanVartaman's release, ANI quotes sources as saying this.
2:45pm: Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire in Rajouri area of LoC. Firing started at 2:15 and is still going. India responding using equal caliber force.
2:40pm: Willing to release Indian pilot, says Pak: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Pakistan is willing to consider returning Indian pilot if it leads to de-escalation of tension between the two countries, Geo News reported. "Prime Minister Imran Khan is ready to hold a telephonic conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Qureshi was quoted as saying this to Pakistani news organisation.
2:35pm: Samjhauta Express train service to resume from March 4: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed said that Samjhauta Express train service will be resumed from Monday. The train service from Pakistan to India was suspended till next order in a wake of escalating tensions between the both countries.
2:30pm: No live telecast of joint press conference by Indian Forces: There will be no live telecast of the joint press conference by Army, Air Force and Navy to be held at 5pm today. Mobile phones are also not allowed in the briefing.
2:27pm: Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf is coming to Pakistan today with an important message from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Dawn reported.
2:25pm: India has not asked for consular access but immediate release of Wing Commander Abhinandan, ANI reported.
2:20pm: Will take decision on status of Indian pilot in a couple of days, says Pak: Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that India has raised the matter of the pilot with us. "We'll decide in a couple of days what convention will apply to him and whether to give him Prisoner of War status or not," said Faisal.
2.15pm: Your pilot is safe here, says Qureshi: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says that the Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan is safe in Pakistan's custody. He said he wanted to assure the Indian public that Pakistan is "taking care of him pretty well, including medicine and food".
2.08pm: We are fully prepared, says Pak: Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson of the Pakistan foreign ministry, says the country does not wish to escalate tensions with India "but are fully prepared if forced into that paradigm".
1.55pm: Hold talk, not war, says widow of slain CRPF jawan: The widow of slain CRPF personnel Bablu Santra has urged both India and Pakistan to hold talks instead of escalating tensions. She also urged the Narendra Modi government to ensure the safe release of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, reported PTI. Mita Santra, widowed on February 14 in a suicide bomb attack on a CRPF convoy that claimed 40 lives including that of her husband, said she was not worried about criticism on social media over her anti-war stand.
1.45pm: The Army, Air Force and Navy officials will address the media around 5pm today.
1.27pm: Hope the tension will end soon, says Trump: US President Donald Trump, addressing media after meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said he hoped the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan would come to an end soon. "I think there is reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India. They have been going at it and we have been involved; we have some reasonably decent news, hopefully it's going to be coming to an end. It has been going on for a long time, decades and decades," Trump said.
1.15pm: Army, Air Force to brief media soon: Pakistan violated ceasefire at 1pm today along the Line of Control in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district. Indian Army retaliated effectively, reports ANI. There will be a joint press briefing by Army and Air Force at 5pm today.
1.10pm: Imran Khan chairs cabinet meet: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is holding a Cabinet meeting which will discuss the issue of escalating tension with India. The country's ministers of foreign affairs and defence will brief the Pakistan PM on the security situation, reported Geo TV.
1.00pm: Sitharaman to brief CCS: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will soon brief the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on all inputs given by the chiefs of Army, Air Force, and Navy.
12.50pm: 'Will receive a briefing on current situation': The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs will receive a briefing from the Ministry of External Affairs on the current situation with Pakistan at its meeting tomorrow afternoon, says Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.
12.42pm: 'We will fight together': Prime Minister Narendra Modi says it is necessary to ensure nothing is done to dent morale of security forces. "India will fight, live, work and win as one," says PM Modi.
12.34pm: Nirmala Sitharaman to visit J&K: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will visit the border in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. She will also inaugurate a bridge in Kathua near the International border, reports India Today.
12.21pm: Let's work together, says Pak minister to India: World must realise Pak-India conflict will destabilise the entire region and later the world at large, said Fawad Hussain, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Pakistan. "Let's work together to avert this situation," he added.
12.08pm: Shake hands and settle conflict, says Malala. Nobel Laureate Malala Yusufai has urged both India and Pakistan to "show true leadership in this difficult time". She asked both the leaders to "sit down, shake hands and settle" the current conflict. "I ask the international community to support talks between India and Pakistan and to help prevent loss of lives and homes".
12.05pm: VK Singh slams BS Yeddyurappa: Former Army chief General VK Singh has slammed his party colleague BS Yeddyurappa's claim that airstrikes on Pakistan will help the BJP win 22 seats in Karnataka alone. "We stand as one nation, action taken by our government is to safeguard our nation & ensure safety of our citizens, not to win a few extra seats," says VK Singh.
11.50am: Be our eyes and ears, say police to locals: IG Coastal Police has called for meetings with the fishermen community, asking them to be "their eyes and ears and keep a close eye on movements in the sea and all the landing points across the state".
11.45am: Pulwama suicide bomber's video also submitted to Pak: Suicide bomber Adil Dar's video where he talks about the attack is also part of the dossier. The video showing Dar as a JeM recruit and talking about the attack is clear evidence of JeM's direct involvement. Phone conversation transcripts and intercepts of Kamran, a JeM terrorist killed in Pulwama days after the CRPF attack that killed 40 troops, is also part of the dossier, reported India Today.
11.40am: India dossier to Pak contains Masood Azhar's video: Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar's video and audio recordings praising the Pulwama attack is part of the dossier handed over to Pakistan giving evidence of the terror outfit planning the Pulwama attack on CRPF convoy. The dossier details how the attack suicide attack was planned by JeM on its soil.
11.35am: Japan concerned about escalating situation: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono says he is concerned about deterioratingsituation in Kashmir. "Strongly condemn terrorist attack on February 14 forwhich Islamic extremist group 'Jaish-e-Mohammad' claimed responsibility; urgePakistan to take stronger measures to counter terrorism," he said.
11.28am: 6 Pak nationals visiting Muzaffarnagar under vigilance: Amid the escalating tension between India and Pakistan, six nationals of the neighbouring country, who came here on valid visa, are under vigilance of the local intelligence unit in the district, an official said on Thursday, reported PTI. They arrived here on February 12 and they have valid visa. They are to return to their country before March 27, the in-charge of local intelligence unit here said.
11.15am: The service chiefs of Army, Air Froce, and Navy will meet Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shortly.
11.05am: India building bunkers along border: India is building more than 14,000 bunkers suitable for families living along its border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir, hoping to keep them safe near their homes instead of evacuating them as artillery shells scream over, reports Reuters.
10.55am: Pictures of downed F-16 aircraft: Here are the pictures of a portion of downed Pakistani Air Force jet F-16 from yesterday's failed PAF (Pakistan Air Force) raid, the wreckage fell in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoC). Pakistan has denied reports of India shooting down its F-16 aircraft.
10.50am: Shameful that PM can't stop campaigning: It is shameful that while India awaits the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan, our Prime Time PM cannot stop campaigning even for a few minutes. We stand with our soldiers & will continue to question the Modi Govt on their apathy.
10.40am: Pakistan suspends Samjhauta Express: The Railways has said the Samjhauta Express departed on time with 27 passengers onboard, amidst reports that Pakistan has suspended its operations between Wagah to Lahore on its side. "The train running from Delhi to Attari in India left at 11:20 pm Wednesday. There are three Pakistanis and 24 Indian nationals aboard the train," Northern Railway said. The biweekly train, which runs on Wednesdays and Sundays, was as per schedule from the Old Delhi Railway station with 27 passengers aboard -- four in AC coach, 23 in non-AC coaches -- it said, reported PTI.
10.35am: Proud of my son, says Abhinandan's father: A day after India confirmed that "missing Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot" Abhinandan was under Pakistan custody, his father Air Marshal (Retd) Varthaman said his son was alive, not injured and that he was "proud of him." IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's father, Air Marshal (Retd) S Varthaman, says he is proud of his son, reported the Quint. "Thank you my friends for your concern and wishes. I thank god for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely...a true soldier...we are so proud of him. I am sure all your hands n blessings are on his head, prayers for his safe return, I pray that he does not get tortured...."
10.30am: India steps up diplomatic pressure: India is launching a diplomatic offensive along with military steps to take decisive action against Pakistan supported terrorist infrastructure in the region. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has left for Saudi Arabia to garner support against support to terrorists by Pakistan. Ambassadors and defence attaches posted in Indian embassies abroad have been asked to push forward and push Indian viewpoint across strongly.
10.25am: 'Modi is desperate to make record of rallies'. Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala says while the Congress party has cancelled CWC meeting and a political rally in the wake of the rising tensions with Pakistan, PM Modi wants to make a record of "video conferencing".
10.20am: Postpone events, Kejriwal to PM: The Delhi CM says: "At this moment, we as a nation, need to spend all our energies and time to get the IAF pilot back safely and to sternly deal with Pak."
10.15am: 'Abhinandan raised slogans': IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was "equipped with a pistol", reported Dawn, adding that he immediately asked locals whether he was in India and Pakistan. "The pilot, later identified as Wing Commander Abhi Nandan, shouted some slogans and asked which place exactly it was in India."
10.05am: Wing Commander Abhinandan tried to swallow documents before his capture: IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is in Pakistan's custody since yesterday, jumped into a small pond after his MiG 21 fighter plane was shot down by the Pakistan air troops and his parachute descended towards the ground, reported Dawn. The news daily also reported that the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander tried to "swallow some documents and maps" before he was captured.
9.58am: 'India will not keep quit': India's Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, has said that India will not keep quiet to any act of terrorism and giving "appropriate response" to all terrorism incidents is the new normal for the country. "This time, India opted for pre-emptive attack, mainly because terrorists were planning to launch another terrorist attack inside India…by doing so, India ensured that it was a non-military, and in remote area with no civilian casualties," he said, reported PTI.
9.40am: 'Abhinandan is a courageous soldier': Wing Commander Abhinandan is an embodiment of a mentally tough, selfless and courageous soldier, says former Army General and Union Minister VK Singh. "During these testing times the country stands, as one, behind him and his family," says Singh.
9.35am: Ceasefire violation by Pak along LoC: Pakistan initiated unprovoked shelling with mortars and firing of small arms along LoC in Krishna Ghati Sector (J&K) around 6am on Thursday. Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively, said security officials. However, firing stopped at about 7am.
9.25am: Cabinet to meet today: Union Cabinet will hold a meeting today at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence.
9.18am: US supports India's fight against terror: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a telephonic conversation on Wednesday late night. Pompeo said the US supported India's decision to take action against JeM terror camp on Pakistani soil, reported ANI.
9.10am: We support Modi govt, says ICPA: Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has extended a complete support and co-operation in all operations as the situation demands. "We will support the government and the PMO in this fight against terrorism," says the association, reported ANI. "We, as Air Indians take pride and feel duty bound towards national interest and pledge our support to the Nation and as pilots we consider ourselves as the second line of defense after the armed forces to serve our country."
9.00am: AI caps fares to J&K at Rs 5,000: Air India has decided to fix cap of Rs 5,000 from Delhi to Srinagar, Leh and Jammu airport for any passengers. Many airlines have waived off cancellations and re-booking charges for the armed forces and for other passengers following the escalation in tension along the borders with Pakistan.
8.44am: Return to stability, US to India and Pak: US calls on India and Pakistan to cease all cross-border military activity and take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation,including direct communication.
8.42am: Destroy terrorists haven, US tells Pak: We reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council (UNSC) commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds.
8.40am: Letter sent to Pak foreign ministry: After demarche issued this afternoon in New Delhi to Pakistan's acting high commissioner demanding immediate release of Wing Commander Varthaman, India's mission in Islamabad has now formally asked for his release.
8.38am: Time to introspect, says Yechury: CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has said it was time for the Centre government to introspect. "It is time for the Modi govt to introspect on the statement by 21 Opposition parties. Do not undermine India's fight against terrorism for partisan benefits," Yechury tweeted.
8.25am: Pak airspace to remain closed today: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced complete closure of flight operations for all domestic and international airlines across Pakistan till further orders.
8.10am: US, UK, France ask UNSC to ban Masood Azhar: The US, the UK and France has finally asked the United Nations Security Council to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar in a fresh proposal. While the United States, Britain and France has proposed the United Nations Security Council to blacklist the JeM chief, the move is likely to be opposed by China, which previously prevented the Security Council's Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee from sanctioning him in 2016 and 2017.
8.00am: Canada calls for de-escalation of tensions: Canada has urged both sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid any further military escalation, Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, said, reported PTI. Dialogue between India and Pakistan is needed to identify a durable diplomatic solution and maintain peace and security in the region, Freeland said. We are committed to working with India, Pakistan and our international partners in this effort, she said.
7.30am: Avoid military action, US to India, Pak: Fearing an escalation of the current tensions between India and Pakistan, the Pentagon has urged the two South Asian neighbours to avoid further military action, reported PTI. The US Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has been in contact with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, and Commander of US Central Command General Joseph Votel regarding India-Pakistan tensions.
Edited by Manoj Sharma