Amid Escalating Tensions, Imran Khan Asks PM Narendra Modi For A Dialogue
| Onkareshwar Pandey - 27 Feb 2019

Indian Observer Post

New Delhi, Feb 27, 2019: Tensions between the two nuclear powers of South Asia, India and Pakistan, escalated quickly after Air Forces of the two countries engaged in aerial combat on Wednesday. Two F-16 aircraft from Pakistan ventured into Indian airspace, a day after India carried out a non-military attack on Jaish-A-Mohammed camp in Balakot, 80 Km from LoC.

The Indian Air Force getting into action swiftly and shot down one F-16 aircraft. India also lost one MiG 21 Bison and one pilot is missing in action, which was confirmed by the Indian government. Pakistan has claimed that they have captured the pilot - a claim India said needs to be verified. This is the first time India and Pakistan Air Forces engaged in direct combat since 1971.

Acknowledging the tensed situation, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for a dialogue, lest situation went out of their control. "If this escalates, it will no longer be in my control or in Narendra Modi’s. We invite you for dialogue... better sense must prevail,“ Imran Khan said.

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The tension between the two countries heightened in the last two weeks, after a suicide bomber from Jaish-A-Mohammed attacked a CRPF convoy on February 14 in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers. India immediately took a tough stand and asked Pakistan to stop protecting various terror outfits. It also revoked the Most Favoured Nation status from Pakistan.

In its reply, Pakistan asked for evidence of the involvement of Jaish-e Mohammad. On Tuesday, Indian Air Force carried out a non-military attack on a terror camp in Balakot, which was home to 300 Jaish terrorists. There were no military or civilian casualties in this pre-emptive strike.

Pakistan criticised India and said it would give reply soon. And on Wednesday, they violated the LoC, ventured into the Indian airspace and dropped bombs near India’s military installations. “This was not retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has, therefore, taken strikes at a non-military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose is to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self-defence. We have no intention of escalation but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm. That is why we undertook the action with a clear warning and in broad daylight."


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