Published: Fri, March 01, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Pakistani airspace closed for commercial flights 'due to security situation'

Pakistani airspace closed for commercial flights 'due to security situation'

In a separate incident, police officials in the Indian part of Kashmir said that two Indian pilots and a civilian had died after an Indian aircraft crashed in the region.

The move came after Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian Air Force planes in its airspace on Wednesday and captured two Indian pilots.

"Our ground forces arrested two pilots; one of them was injured and has been shifted to CMH [Combined Military Hospital] and, God-willing, he will be taken care of", said the army official.

Indian news reports said airports in the Indian portion of Kashmir closed for civilian traffic shortly after the air force jet crashed.

Tensions along the Line of Control, which separates the two countries' armed forces in Kashmir, flared on February 14, when an attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir killed 45.

On Tuesday, Indian said after the airstrike that a large number of Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group's fighter were killed.

The targeting of militant camps is a departure from India's decades-old policy of restraint born out of fears of triggering an outright conflict. India long has accused Pakistan of cultivating such militant groups to attack it.

With tensions between India and Pakistan rising with time and the Pakistan Air Force claiming to shoot down two Indian aircraft and apprehended an Indian pilot on Wednesday, news channels in Pakistan are broadcasting a news report claiming about it.

"Pakistan has taken strikes at non military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage", said a statement by the Foreign Office. "To avoid further military action, this is a unsafe cycle of escalation", Senator Payne said.

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Press Trust of India said Indian authorities also closed two airports in northern Punjab state, which borders with Pakistan.

"We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm", said Mohammad Faisal, the foreign affairs ministry's spokesman.

The Indian warplanes went down Wednesday morning in Kashmir, a mountainous region claimed by both India and Pakistan since nearly immediately after their creation in 1947.

In New Delhi, Indian officials said Wednesday at least five of their soldiers were wounded in firing by Pakistani troops along the volatile frontier.

Five Indian soldiers suffered minor wounds in the shelling that ended on Wednesday morning, he added.

In response to a question on whether there was divergence on the Pulwama attack between India and China, Ms. Swaraj said: "As far as joint strategy is concerned, you just heard foreign minister Wang Yi's speech".

Incoming flight from Guangzhou in China has also been sent back. "One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K [Pakistan-controlled Kashmir] while other fell inside IOK [Indian-controlled Kashmir]".

Even Taliban leaders have spoken out against the tensions, warning that they were "not good" for the region, adding that they had "deep sympathy with government and people of Pakistan".

"I expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost", Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday.

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