/ India tells Pakistan to release IAF pilot, protests ‘vulgar display’ of injured

Hindustan Times : Feb 28, 2019, 09:36 AM

India has asked Pakistan to ensure immediate release and safe return of the IAF pilot who was missing in action after he engaged with Pakistani jets that violated Indian airspace on Wednesday morning.

Pakistan Army released a video that shows a blindfolded man, identifying himself as a Wing Commander-rank IAF officer and his service number. India has strongly objected to Islamabad putting out photographs and videos of the pilot.

A statement by the ministry of external affairs said the video was a “vulgar display”of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention . (Follow live updates)

The Wing Commander was part of the IAF’s Combat Air Patrol (CAP) that engaged the on-coming Pakistani fighters that violated Indian airspace this morning, a day after India carried out a counter-terror strike at Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Pakistan.

The ministry of external affairs had earlier in the day summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah to lodge a strong protest over Pakistan Air Force’s bid to attack Indian military installations.

Also read:Pakistan army retracts earlier claim, says only one Indian pilot in custody

India said Pakistan’s “unprovoked act of aggression” was in sharp contrast to India’s non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Balakot on Tuesday morning. “It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India,” the statement said.

The statement added that it was already conveyed to Pakistan that India reserves the right to take firm and decisive action to protect its national security. New Delhi regretted the “continuing denial by Pakistan’s political and military leadership at the presence of terrorist infrastructure in territories under its control.”

“A dossier was handed over to Pakistan side with specific details of JeM complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan,” the MEA statement said.

Also read: IAF pilot who engaged Pakistan jets is missing in action, MiG 21 lost: Govt

New Delhi has said that Pakistani fighter jets tried to target its military installations on Wednesday morning but their attempts were foiled by the Indian Air Force.

“Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully,” said External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. India said that Pakistani fighter jets were detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly.