Why Kashmir remains an open wound between India, Pakistan

Why Kashmir remains an open wound between India, Pakistan

Why Kashmir remains an open wound between India, Pakistan

More than a thousand passengers were affected after Air Canada partially suspended service to India due to the closure of Pakistani airspace as tensions mount between the two nuclear powers. Purported video of the airman - bloodied, blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back - has been shared online.

India's foreign ministry branded Pakistan's videos as a "vulgar display" of an injured airman, saying they violated worldwide humanitarian law and the Geneva convention.

India long has accused Pakistan of cultivating such militant groups to attack it. Pakistan has said it was not involved in that attack and was ready to help New Delhi in the investigations.

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan explicitly referred to both countries' nuclear arsenals.

The Pakistani military says the aircraft had entered its airspace, while India accused Pakistan of intruding on its territory in the disputed area of Kashmir.

"Pakistan's plan was that there should be no casualties or damage, only to show Pakistani capability", said Khan.

With Pakistani villagers and soldiers filming his capture and captivity on Wednesday in clips that have since gone viral on social media, the pilot identified by Islamabad as Indian Wing Commander Abhi Nandan has fast emerged as the human face of the risky flare-up between the arch-foes.

The dispute escalated in the past two weeks after a suicide bombing killed 41 Indian soldiers in Indian-administered Kashmir.

In the video, the captured pilot can be heard saying: "My name is Wing Commander Abhinandan".

One of the planes crashed in Pakistan's part of Kashmir and the other went down in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

India's foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale briefs the media about India's air strikes in Pakistan.

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In this image taken from video released by Pakistan's military, showing what they claim to be an Indian pilot who was captured after his plane was shot down by Pakistan's Air Force in the country's part of Kashmir.

Two Indian air force jets then responded, crossing the de facto border that divides Kashmir. "Pakistan claims the pilot is in their custody, however we are ascertaining the facts".

No explanation has been given as to why the numbers have changed. He also clarified that Pakistan was holding one pilot, not two, as it previously said.

Pakistan's airstrikes come after India launched an airstrike on what it said was a militant training base.

"I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford such a miscalculation?"

India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar acknowledged the loss of a MiG-21 fighter jet and its pilot.

Meanwhile, Indian police said officials recovered seven bodies from the wreckage of the Indian air force chopper that crashed in an Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir, including six Indian airmen and a civilian on the ground.

Pakistan's armed forces spokesman, Major-General Asif Ghafoor, claimed that in response to the strikes, Indian jets crossed the ceasefire line.

Flight Radar data shows Pakistan airspace is nearly emptied of aircraft - a massive contrast to last month when the country's skies were busy with flights. "Let's sit together and settle this with talks", the prime minister concluded.

Mr Modi has yet to comment but was meeting top security and intelligence officials to discuss the situation, reports in India said.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said her country would act "with responsibility and restraint".

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