Pakistan shoots down two Indian military aircraft

Pakistan claims air strikes into Indian territory 'to demonstrate right to self defence'

Pakistan claims air strikes into Indian territory 'to demonstrate right to self defence'

"The limited objective of that pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of Jaish-e-Mohammed in order to pre-empt another terror attack in India", Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says during talks in Beijing with her counterparts from China and Russian Federation.

Local officials on the Pakistani side said at least four people had been killed and seven wounded, though it was unclear if the casualties were civilian or military.

An unidentified police officer said that two pilots and a civilian were killed in the crash, the Reuters news agency reported.

Immediately following the air strikes, both India and Pakistan held high-level security meetings on the development of the situation.

Fighter jets patrolled the skies above Srinagar, the capital of disputed Kashmir, throughout Tuesday night as India and Pakistan traded mortar fire a few hundred miles away at the ceasefire border.

"Both countries have the capability and capacity, but war is actually the failure of policy, which India needs to understand", he said.

Indian security officials did not report any casualties but said villages were hit including Kamalkote and Kalgo, both near the heavily guarded military border.

Pakistan has promised to retaliate to Tuesday's air strikes, and security across India has been tightened.

Hours later, Pakistani's Civil Aviation Authority also made a decision to shut its airspace to all commercial flights as tension with India escalate.

Pakistan's foreign ministry on Wednesday said strikes were carried out against a "non-military target" to avoid loss of life and demonstrate Pakistan's right and ability to defend itself.

Gen. Asif Ghafoor, says one of the pilots is injured and is being treated in a military hospital.

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"On February 27, flights to/from Lahore, Multan and Islamabad are cancelled and all passengers will be transferred to next available flights when the airspace is open again", the statement says.

Ghafoor told a press conference in Rawalpindi that Pakistan also "does not want escalation" and called for talks with New Delhi.

In a brief statement, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, accompanied by Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, said details are being ascertained about Pakistan's claim of having captured an Indian pilot.

The Indian air force has ordered Kashmir's main airport in Srinagar along with at least three others in neighboring states to be closed because of the two incidents, an official said.

"India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint", Swaraj said during a visit to China.

Tensions have risen since a suicide auto bombing by Pakistan-based armed group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), in Indian-administered Kashmir killed at least 42 Indian paramilitary forces on February 14.

Addressing his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a televised speech, Khan said: "Better sense should prevail".

"We are peaceful; we didn't escalate, India did", said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while speaking to ARY.

He said the worldwide community is following the developments closely.

The two neighbours have fought three wars since their partition in 1947.

The European Union and China, a Pakistani ally, have also urged India and Pakistan to exercise "restraint" after the Indian air strike in Pakistani territory.

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