59 Nobel Laureates Urge India & Pak to Diffuse Tensions
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after IAF carried out airstrikes across LoC on Tuesday, 26 February. 
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after IAF carried out airstrikes across LoC on Tuesday, 26 February. (Photo: Arnica Kala/The Quint)

59 Nobel Laureates Urge India & Pak to Diffuse Tensions

The United States is seeking more information on the potential misuse of F-16 fighter jets used by Pakistan against India after Balakot air strikes, PTI reported.

This move comes after Indian Air Force displayed evidence of Pakistan using the F-16 even though it had initially denied using the jets.

A letter signed by the Noble winners, under the aegis of the Laureates and Leaders for Children, a platform founded by India's Nobel peace laureate Satyarthi, was submitted to India and Pakistan's Permanent Representatives to the United Nations on Saturday, 2 March, it said.

Click here to get updates on IAF Pilot Abhinandan’s return.

Click here to get the updates in Hindi.

Snapshotclose

  • Indian armed forces said that they were prepared to retaliate, if Pakistan chooses to escalate the situation
  • In his first statement after the strikes, PM Modi addressed BJP workers via a video conference and said, “India will live as one, work as one, grow as one and fight as one”

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Pakistan Stops Domestic and International Flight Operations

Pakistan has stopped its domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports.

KEY EVENT

At Least Two Dead As IAF Chopper Crashes in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam

An IAF chopper crashed near the Garend Kalan village in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam area, leaving at least two dead, news agencies reported on Wednesday, 27 February.

Shortly after the crash, Pakistan Armed Forces Chairperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the Pakistan Air Force shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, with one of them falling inside the Indian territory. An official IAF response on the crash is awaited at the moment.

KEY EVENT

Pakistani F-16 Jet Shot Down by India: Reports

Pakistan Air Force F-16 jet, that violated the Indian airspace on Wednesday, 27 February, has been shot down three kilometres within the Pakistan territory, reported ANI. There is no official confirmation on this development.

KEY EVENT

Pak Confirms Strikes Across LoC, Says Sole Purpose is to 'Demonstrate Our Right'

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has confirmed that Pakistan undertook strikes across the Line of Control (LoC), but within the Pakistani airspace.

In an official statement, Qureshi said, “Sole purpose being 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.”

The statement further read, “If India is striking at so called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan.”

KEY EVENT

2 IAF Jets Shot Down, One Pilot Arrested: Pak Reiterates Claim

Addressing a press conference in Pakistan, Major General Asif Ghafoor said that two IAF aircrafts crossed LoC.

“PAF took them on, both IAF aircraft were destroyed – one on our side, one on the other. We have nothing to do with the third crash that has taken place in Indian territory,” Ghafoor added.

He further claimed that two pilots were recovered and provided all necessary medical treatment.

News agency PTI reported that a video has been issued by the Pakistani Army in which an officer is heard saying “I am Wing Commander Abhinandan Vartaman, I am an IAF officer. My service No is 27981.”

Entire Airspace, North of Delhi, Vacated

The entire airspace north of Delhi has been vacated, reported PTI, citing officials.

Arun Jaitley Defends Air Strikes on JeM Camp

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the air strikes on the JeM terror camp across the LoC, saying if the US Navy SEALs could take Osama Bin Landen from Abbottabad, then India can also do the same.

MEA Briefing at 3:15 pm on Escalation of Tensions

A Ministry of External Affairs briefing would take place at 3:15 pm today, presumably on the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan.

NOTAM Withdrawn, Flight Operation to Resume Shortly

The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route has been withdrawn. Flight operations will resume shortly, reported ANI.

The entire airspace north of Delhi had earlier been vacated.

Pakistan Has Not Formally Informed About IAF Detention: Sources to ANI

When asked if the MEA will take up Pakistan’s claim that the missing IAF pilot is in their custody, through military channels, sources told ANI that India has not been formally informed.

“Pakistan has not formally informed India about the detention of the pilot which it claims to have in its custody,” sources told ANI.

Sources also told ANI that only one pilot was missing in action, while Pakistan has claimed that two Indian pilots have been captured.

Imran Khan to Address Pakistan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will address his nation at 3:15 pm their time, on 27 February, tweeted the Government of Pakistan.

Read the MEA-IAF Full Statement

India had informed about Counter Terrorism (CT) action it took yesterday against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks. Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully.

The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly. In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts.

Better Sense Should Prevail: Imran Khan Invites India for Dialogue

Addressing the country soon after the MEA-IAF joint briefing, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan invited India for dialogue, stating that “things might get out of control”, if the situation escalates.

On the events that unfolded on 27 February, the Pakistan prime minister said that “we had to show that if you come in our territory, we can also come into yours.”

Stressing that “better sense should prevail,” Khan added that if the two nations go to war, it will be “neither in his control, nor in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s.”

“If situation escalates from here, things might spin out of control. Better sense should prevail. We are inviting India for dialogue,” said Imran Khan.

He further ascertained that the country shot down two Indian fighter jets, and that two of Indian pilots were in Pakistan custody. Khan also claimed that he offered to “fully cooperate” with India after 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Pulwama.

Pray for Wing Commander's Safety: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that he prayed for IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Vartaman’s safety.

Pakistan has claimed that they have captured two IAF pilots.

MEA Briefs UN's Security Council Countries

The Ministry of External affairs is reportedly briefing member countries of the United Nations Security Council, addressed as P5 envoys, on Pakistan's attempts at targeting Indian military installations and also updating them about India's position alert, sources told CNBC.

Ambassadors of China, United Kingdom and Kuwait reportedly visit the MEA.

MEA Summons Pak Deputy High Comissioner

The Ministry of External Affairs has summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah, reported ANI.

Pak Deputy High Commissioner Arrives at South Block

Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah, who was summoned to the South Block here, told Indian officials about capturing of an Indian pilot by Pakistani authorities, sources told PTI.

(Photo: ANI)

Hope Missing Pilot Returns Home Soon: Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted that he hoped that the missing IAF pilot will return home soon.

Condemn Pulwama Attack, National Security Must Transcend Political Considerations: Opposition Joint Statement

21 Opposition parties, led by the Congress, condemned the Pulwama attack and expressed solidarity with the armed forces.

Addressing the media after the Opposition meet, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that the leaders condemned Pakistani “misadventure” and expressed deep concern for safety of our missing pilot.

The Opposition, in a joint statement, said that they urged government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India's sovereignty, unity and integrity.

Qureshi Threatens to Boycott OIC Meeting Over Swaraj's Participation

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday threatened to boycott a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) scheduled for this week in the UAE if India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj participates in the event.

Swaraj has been invited as a "guest of honour" at the inaugural session of the OIC foreign ministers' conclave in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 March.

"I have no reservations with the OIC or any other Islamic country. My reservations are with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's attendance at the OIC meeting," Qureshi was quoted as saying by the Geo News.

UK Foreign Minister to Meet India, Pak Envoys

United Kingdom junior foreign office minister Mark Field to meet India and Pakistan envoys on Wednesday to urge restraint, reported Reuters.

Pakistan Claims Only One Pilot Under Custody

Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor backtracked on his earlier claim and said that only one pilot of the Indian Air Force was under their custody. Pakistan had earlier claimed that two IAF pilots were captured by them.

We Expect Immediate, Safe Return of Missing Pilot From Pak: MEA

Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday lodged a strong protest with the acting High Commissioner of Pakistan against unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India.

“It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return,” the MEA statement read.

The MEA added that Pakistan’s action was in contrast to India’s non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a JeM terrorist camp in Balakot on 26 Feb 2019.

“It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation & bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India.”
MEA Statement

Punjab CM Meets To Officials from Army, Paramilitary & Police

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met top officials of army, paramilitary and the police to review the current situation in border areas, reported ANI.

Urge India-Pak to Exercise Restraint: UK PM May

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has joined other countries in urging Indian and Pakistan to exercise restraint and ensure the tensions do not escalate any further.

“We are in regular contact with both countries urging dialogue and diplomatic solutions to ensure regional stability,” May said in the UK House of Commons.

Top Security, Intel Officials Meet at PMO

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Wednesday briefed about the latest security situation following violation of Indian airspace by Pakistani fighter jets in Jammu and Kashmir, sources told PTI.

Top security and intelligence officials were in a huddle earlier in the day at the prime minister's office in the wake of fresh developments that followed India's airstrike at a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, senior officials of the Indian Navy, Army and the Air Force and other security officials had met to discuss the current security situation, they said.

Meeting of Three Service Chiefs With PMO Ends

The meeting of the three Service Chiefs with PM Narendra Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg ended, reported ANI.

Red Alert Sounded for Delhi Metro

A red alert was sounded for the entire Delhi Metro network on Wednesday by the DMRC, in view of hightened tensions between India and Pakistan.

"As advised by security agencies, a red alert has been imposed on the entire DMRC network from 6 pm onwards," a senior DMRC official said.

The Delhi Metro's current operational span is 327 km with 236 stations, in Delhi and neighbouring cities.

"After a red alert is sounded, all station controllers are required to inspect entire station premises for any suspicious items or activity, including in parking lots, and report to the control centre every two hours," he said.

Air Canada Suspends Service to India

Air Canada has temporarily suspended service to India due the closure of Pakistani airspace by its government, reported ANI.

India Hands over Dossier to Pak with Details of Jem Role in Pulwama

India handed over to Pakistan a dossier on "specific details" of involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the Pulwama terror attack on CRPF as also the presence of camps of the UN-proscribed terror outfit in that country.

The dossier was handed over to the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, who was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs to lodge a strong protest over Pakistan Air Force targeting Indian military installations, a day after the Indian counter-terror action against the JeM.

Government sources have claimed that over 350 JeM terrorists were killed in the pre-dawn strike on the terror camps in Pakistan on Tuesday.

Let the Nation Speak in One Voice: Jaitley Hits Out at Opposition

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley appealed to the Opposition to “speak in one voice,” after they alleged that the NDA government was “politicising the sacrifies of the armed forces.”

Hope Saner Counsels Shall Prevail Between India And Pakistan: Manmohan Singh

Amid growing tension between India and Pakistan, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday, 27 February, voiced hope that saner counsels shall prevail between the leadership of India and Pakistan and the two countries will get back to the task of economic development.

He said this at a function at Teen Murti Bhavan where he was presented with the first 'P V Narasimha Rao National leadership and lifetime achievement award' by former president Pranab Mukherjee.

"I do hope that saner counsels will prevail between leadership of the two countries and we will get back to the economic development, which is the basic requirement of India and Pakistan," Singh said in his address.

Air Canada Temporarily Suspends Flights to India

Canada's flag carrier Air Canada on Wednesday, 27 February temporarily suspended its flights to India due to the closure of Pakistani airspace, amid escalating tensions between the two countries.

"One flight en route to Delhi from Toronto was turned back over the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday night and returned to Toronto Wednesday, while a second flight from Vancouver to Delhi that was scheduled to depart Tuesday night was also been cancelled," Air Canada said.

"Air Canada's flight from Toronto to Mumbai is planned to operate tonight as it takes a different routing, and we are evaluating the routing options for both Toronto-Delhi and Vancouver-Delhi flights scheduled to operate later tonight," it said in a statement.

"We are monitoring the situation in order to resume service once the situation normalises and we determine it is safe to do so," it said.

Air Canada and Jet Airways operate 18 flights weekly to India from Toronto Pearson, reported PTI.

US Urges India, Pak to Take Steps to De-Escalate Tensions

Deeply concerned over the growing confrontation between India and Pakistan, the US on Wednesday, 27 February urged the nuclear-armed neighbours to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions, warning that the potential risks associated with further military action by either side are unacceptably high for both the countries.

"The United States is deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan and calls on both sides to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation," said an official of the National Security Council (NSC) of the White House.

"The potential risks associated with further military action by either side are unacceptably high for both countries, their neighbours, and the international community," the NSC official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

The official was responding to a question on Pakistan's claim that it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space and arrested a pilot.

A day earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke over phone with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi seeking de-escalation of tensions.

"Following Indian counter-terrorism actions on February 26, I spoke with Indian Minister of External Affairs Swaraj to emphasise our close security partnership and shared goal of maintaining peace and security in the region," Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo is currently in Vietnam to attend the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the denuclearsation of the Korean peninsula.

"I also spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action, and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil," Pompeo said.

"I expressed to both Ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost. I also encouraged both ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity," he said.

Last week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval that America supports India's right to self-defence as both sides vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan ceases to be a safe heaven for JeM and other terror groups.

It’s BJP & Its Leadership Who Require Real Introspection: Congress Hits Back at Jaitley

Responding to Jaitley’s claim of the statement by the 21 opposition party leaders being used by Pakistan, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, "Mr. Jaitley, It's BJP & its leadership who require real introspection.

Entire opposition stood as one backing the armed forces & the Govt. Still, Amit Shah & entire BJP resorted to credit seeking for the sacrifice of our martyrs & indulged in blaming the Congress provocatively."

The 21 opposition parties after their meeting earlier in the day issued a joint statement expressing "deep anguish" over what they alleged was "blatant politicisation" of the sacrifices of armed forces.

They urged the government to take the nation into confidence on all measures to protect India's sovereignty, unity and integrity.

The statement said, "National security must transcend narrow political considerations... The leaders observed that the prime minister has, regrettably, not convened an all-party meeting as per established practice in our democracy."

Pakistan Orders Complete Closure of Flight Operations

Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced complete closure of flight operations for all domestic and international airlines across Pakistan till further orders, reported ANI quoting Pakistan media.

US, UK & France Ask UNSC to Impose Sanctions on JeM Chief

The United States of America, United Kingdom and France have asked the 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions committee to subject Maulana Masood Azhar, the head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad, to an arms embargo, global travel ban and asset freeze.

Read the full story here.

Urge PM to Bring Back Airforce Soldier: Siddaramaiah

Former Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah took to Twitter to urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring back the IAF pilot who is in Pakistan’s custody.

Pak Begins Dismantling JeM Camps: Reports

A day after IAF Wing Commander was taken into Pakistan’s custody, India is committed to bring him back in the next 72 hours, reported CNN-News18.

The channel also reported that Pakistan has begun action against the Jaish terror camps.

Pak Violates Ceasefire in Poonch District

Pakistan violated the ceasefire at 6 am in Krishna Ghati sector along the Line of Control in Poonch district.

US Supports India's Action Against Terror: Reports

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells NSA Ajit Doval that US supports India’s decision to take action against JeM terror camps on Pakistani soil, reported ANI quoting sources.

Union Cabinet Meeting at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg Later Today

A Union Cabinet meeting is scheduled to be held at the prime minister’s residence, 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, later today.

Indian High Commission Asks Pak's Acting High Commission for Wing Commander's Safe Return

Indian High Commission gave a demarche to Pakistan's acting High Commissioner on Wednesday, 27 February, in New Delhi for immediate and safe return of Wing Commander Abhinandan.

We Hope Brave Pilot Would Return Home Soon: VK Singh

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh tweeted saying that efforts are on to bring the Wing Commander back under the Geneva Convention.

KEY EVENT

Abhi is Alive, Not Injured, We Are So Proud of Him: Air Marshal (Retd) S Varthaman

A day after India confirmed that “missing Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot” Abhinandan was under Pakistan custody, his father Air Marshal (Retd) Varthaman said his son was alive, not injured and that he was “proud of him.”

“Thank you my friends for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely...a true soldier...we are so proud of him. I am sure all your hands n blessings are on his head, prayers for his safe return, I pray that he does not get tortured, and comes home safe n sound in body and mind. Thank you all for being with us in this hour of need . We draw our strengths from your support and energy (sic).”

Pakistan Suspends Samjhauta Express Train Service

Pakistani authorities have suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India until further notice, media reports said amidst tense bilateral ties in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

The train departs on Monday and Thursday from Lahore.

The Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India has been suspended until further notice, DawnNewsTV reported on Thursday citing railway authorities.

The biweekly train was scheduled to depart from Lahore with 16 passengers.

It embarked on its journey from Karachi but the passengers are stuck at Lahore railway station, the report said.

Defence Minister to Meet 3 Service Chiefs Shortly

The three service chiefs to meet Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shortly.

Reported Pictures of Wreckage of Pakistani F-16 Jet Shot Down by India

The picture reportedly shows the wreckage of the F-16 Pakistani fighter jet, which was allegedly shot down by India on Wednesday.

ANI reported that after being shot down the jet fell in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistani media had reported (using the same picture) that the wreckage is of the India aircraft shot down by Pakistan.

(Photo: ANI)

Japan Urges India, Pakistan to 'Exercise Restraint'

In response to the mounting tension due to the operations since 26 February between the Indian Air Force and the Pakistan Air Force, Japan urged India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and stabilise the situation through dialogue.

“Concerned about deteriorating situation in Kashmir. Strongly condemn terrorist attack on 14 Feb for which Islamic extremist group “Jaish-e-Mohammad” claimed responsibility; urge Pakistan to take stronger measures to counter terrorism,” Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said in a statement.

India Is Grateful to All Those Who Are Protecting the Nation: PM Modi

Addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers via video conference on Thursday, 28 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that “India will live as one, work as one, grow as one and fight as one.”

He further said that “India is grateful to all those who are protecting the nation”.

Though the prime minister didn’t make any direct reference, but in what looked like an attack on Pakistan, Modi said, “The enemy tries to destabilize us, carries out terror attacks, they want to stop our growth, but we are all (countrymen) standing like a rock.”

KEY EVENT

Joint Briefing by Army, Air Force and Navy at 5 pm

There will be a joint press briefing by Army, Air Force and Navy in New Delhi at 5 pm, media reported.

Trump Says India-Pakistan Situation Will ‘Hopefully’ End Soon

US President Donald Trump said there was a “reasonably attractive” and “reasonably decent news” from the two countries and expressed hope that the tensions are “going to come to an end"

“There is a lot of dislike and we have been trying in the middle to help them both out so that we have some peace.”
US President Donald Trump
KEY EVENT

We Believe That Pakistan Air Intrusion Was an Attack on Military Installations: Defence Ministry

Reiterating MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar’s stand, a defence ministry official told ANI, “We believe that the Pakistan air intrusion was an attack on military installations.

“We believe that the Pakistan Army is actively supporting the Jaish-e-Mohammed and is harbouring the leaders including Masood Azhar in its facilities,” he added.

Lt General Ranbir Singh Visited Troops in Rajouri Sector

Lt General Ranbir Singh visited troops deployed in forward areas along LC in Rajouri sector.

Will Decide on IAF Pilot's POW Status Soon: Pakistan

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal has said that the IAF Wing Commander is “safe and healthy”, reported Dawn.

“India has raised the matter of the pilot with us. We'll decide in a couple of days what convention will apply to him and whether to give him Prisoner of War status or not,” Faisal added.

May Consider Returning IAF Pilot If It Leads to De-Escalation: Pak

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday, 28 February, said that Pakistan is “willing” to return IAF Pilot if it leads to de-escalation between the two countries.

Speaking to Geo News, Qureshi further said , “Prime Minister Imran Khan is ready to hold a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Qureshi Makes 'Urgent' Phone Call to Chinese FM, Briefs Him on Indo-Pak Tensions

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made an "urgent" phone call to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to update him about the tensions between Pakistan and India, Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

During the phone call, Wang briefed Qureshi on China's efforts to promote peace talks and reiterated his hope that Pakistan and India would exercise restraint and "earnestly fulfil" their commitment to prevent the escalation of the situation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Return IAF Pilot Immediately, No Question of Deal: Govt Sources

A day after Indian government confirmed that a “missing Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot” was under Pakistan custody, India asked Pakistan to “immediately” return him, and added that there is no question of any deal with Pakistan, reported ANI quoting government sources.

“If Pakistan thinks they have a card to negotiate then they are mistaken. India expects the Wing Commander to be treated in a humane manner,” the source told ANI.

“Pakistan is trying to create a Kandahar type pressure but India will not give in, there will be no deal or talks on Wing Commander’s release,” the source added.

Pak Will Examine Dossier: Qureshi

Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi has said his country will examine India's dossier on Pulwama terror attack, reported PTI.

Foreign Secy Meets Diplomats from 10 Countries

The Meeting of Foreign Secretary with diplomats from 10 countries, including Germany, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, South Africa & Belgium, has concluded, reported ANI.

PM Addressing Booth Workers When Nation Looking Towards Leadership: Manish

Congress leader Manish Tewari said that at the time when the nation was looking towards leadership, the prime minister was addressing BJP booth workers.

“At this point in time when the nation is looking towards its leadership, when the nation wants its leadership to speak to it, the Prime Minister chose to address the booth workers of the BJP rather than address the nation.”
Manish Tiwari, Congress Leader

Tried Calling PM Modi Last Evening, Pakistan Wants Peace: Imran Khan

Addressing a joint parliamentary session, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, 28 February, said that he tried calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi last evening to covey that they wanted de-escalation.

However, he warned that, the de-escalation efforts should not be mistook for "weakness."

He also claimed that India should introspect how it has handled the situation in Kashmir.

"I want to ask the people of India that instead of pointing fingers at Pakistan, without a shred of evidence, should they have tried to figure just why a 19-year-old-would blow himself up - what caused him to carry out such an act."

IAF Pilot to Be Released Tomorrow: Imran Khan in Pak Parl

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that his country will release captured IAF pilot Abhinandhan Vartham on Friday, 1 March.

The members of the Pakistan parliament thumped their desks in approval when Khan made the announcement.

Pakistan Violates Ceasefire Along LoC, Resort to Unprovoked Firing

Pakistan violates ceasefire by shelling with mortars and firing of small arms in Sunderbani, Mankote, Khari Karmara and Degwar sectors along Line of Control, reported ANI.

The shelling and firing which started at 6 am paused and was resumed at 3pm.

India Cancels Samjhauta Express from 4 March: Report

The Indian Railways has cancelled the Samjhauta Express from 4 March, sources told PTI.

Happy to Hear About IAF Pilot's Release: Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that he was "very happy" to hear about Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's release.

"I'm very happy. I had demanded his release earlier too. This is going to be a step towards goodwill and I hope this will be lasting," Singh said.

PM Modi to Hold Security Review Meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a security review meet at 6:30 pm, reported News18.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is expected to brief the prime minister.

Have Completed a Pilot Project: PM Modi Makes Veiled Reference

In a veiled reference to the IAF pilot Abhinandan's release, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said:

“Pilot project hone ke baad scalable kiya jata hai, to abhi abhi ek pilot project ho gaya, abhi real karna hai, pehle to practice thi.” (Just now one pilot project has been completed. We have to make it real, earlier it was just practice.)

Modi was addressing the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi

Imran Khan As Acted Like a Statesman: Mehbooba Mufti

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that while the release of IAF pilot Abhinandan is "good news," she hopes Pakistan will keep its word to take steps on Pulwama dossier. She added that Imran Khan has acted like a statesman.

"Good news, the whole nation will be relieved. I hope our leadership will also reciprocate this peace gesture. I hope Imran Khan will stand by his word and take steps on dossier on Pulwama attack. Imran Khan has acted like a statesman," said Mufti.

Joint Press Briefing by Three Services Underway

The Army, Air Force and the Navy will address a joint press conference, after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the release of IAF pilot Abhinandan.

Major General Surendra Mahal, Rear Admiral Dalbir Singh Gujral and Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor addressed the media.

Pakistan Tried to Attack Our Military Establishment: IAF

Reading on behalf of the IAF, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said that Pakistan has made many "factually incorrect statements." He asserted that the Pakistan Air Force attempted to attack Indian Army formation compounds.

"IAF fighters were tasked to intercept the intruding Pakistani aircraft and managed to thwart them. Although PAF jets dropped bombs, they were not able to cause any damage," Kapoor said.

He said that MiG-21, Sukhoi and Mirage 2000 were tasked to intercept Pakistan aircraft, which foiled Pakistan's attack.

“One Pakistani F-16 was shot down by an IAF MiG 21 Bison Aircraft. East of Rajouri, parts of F-16 have been recovered, inside Indian territory. Also, IAF is happy that Wing Commander Abhinandan is returning tomorrow.”
Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor,

Kapoor added that there was enough evidence to show that F-16s were used by Pakistan and one of those was downed by the IAF.

India Ready for Any Misadventure by Pak: Navy & Army

Navy Rear Admiral DS Gujral said India was ready for any misadventure by Pakistan.

"We are ready for resolute action. We want to ensure safety and security of our citizens," Gujral said.

Addressing the gathering, Indian Army's Major General S S Mahal said escalation of tensions had been done by Pakistan but India was prepared for any contingency if the enemy provoked it.

Mechanised forces were put on standby and troops were ready to deal with any security challenge, he said.

Premature to Say Number of Casualties in Balakot: Air Force

Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, to a question on bombing on JeM terror camps in Balakot, replied that it was "premature" to say the number of casualties in the terror camp.

“Premature to say number of casualties on the camp, whatever we intended to destroy we got that result,” Kapoor said.

IAF Shows Part Of Missile Solely Used in F-16

The IAF showed parts of Amraam missiles as proof that Pakistan used F-16 aircraft to attack Indian military establishments on Wednesday. The part of a missile, shown below, is solely used by F-16.

“Pakistan lied that no F-16 was used but there was enough evidence,”Air Vice Marshal Kapoor said.

Stating that Pakistan aircraft targeted military installations, he added that PAF bombs were unable to damage any of India's defence installations.

Part of a missile called AMRAAN which is solely used by F16.
Part of a missile called AMRAAN which is solely used by F16.
(Photo: The Quint)

PM Modi Chairs Security Meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on security chaired at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

(Photo: ANI)

Pilot’s Return in Consonance with Geneva Conventions: Air Force

The Indian Air Force (IAF), in a joint briefing with the Indian Army and the Navy on Thursday, 28 February said that it was happy about Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s return from Pakistan.

Asked if the IAF sees the release of Varthaman as a goodwill gesture by Pakistan, Air Vice Marshall RGK Kapoor said, “We see this as a gesture in consonance with Geneva conventions.”

Centre Declares Jamaat-e-Islami, J&K 'Unlawful '

Centre declares Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir (JIJK) as an ‘unlawful association’ under Section 3 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Pompeo Hopeful India-Pak Tension Would Come Down

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday, 28 February he had "good conversations" with Indian and Pakistani leaders and was hopeful that the rising tension will come down between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Over the last two days, Pompeo spoke to the leaders of the two countries including External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor Ajit K Doval and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

"We were and continue to be very engaged with the issue between India and Pakistan," Pompeo told reporters travelling with him from Hanoi, Vietnam to Manila in the Philippines.

"I spent a good deal of time on the phone last night talking to leaders in both countries, making sure there was good information exchanged, encouraging each country to not take any action that would escalate and create increased risk," he said.

"I had good conversations, and I am hopeful that we can take down the tension there, at least for the time being, so they can begin to have conversations that don't portend risk of escalation to either of the two countries. So we're working hard on that," Pompeo said.Pompeo Hopeful India-Pak Tension Would Come Down

Pak Violates Ceasefire in Uri Sector, Civilian Injured

One civilian was injured in a ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops along the LoC in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir, reported PTI.

Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing towards Indian posts and villages in Kamalkote area of Uri in Baramulla district on Thursday evening, the officials told PTI.

They said the intermittent firing continued through out the night. One civilian has been injured in the firing. Indian Army has responded to the Pakistani firing in adequate measure, the officials said.

Man Arrested from Border Post in Ferozepur, Pakistani SIM Found in Possession

The Border Security Force (BSF), in Ferozepur, has arrested an Indian national near border outpost and a mobile phone with Pakistani SIM card, in use, has been seized from his possession, reported ANI.

The news agency further added that the number is added to eight Pakistan groups. Six other Pak phone numbers also retrieved from him.

China Cancels All Flights to and From Pakistan in View of Indo-Pak Tensions

China has cancelled all flights to and from Pakistan and rerouted its international aircraft flying over the Pakistani airspace due to the regional tensions, official media reported.

The closure of Pakistan's airspace in response to escalating tensions with India disrupted major routes between Europe and South East Asia and left thousands of air travellers stranded worldwide.

Flights from the Middle East that usually overfly Pakistan and the Pakistan-India border will have to re-route over India, Myanmar or central Asia to enter China, civil aviation experts told Global Times.

The Beijing Capital International Airport cancelled all flights to and from Pakistan on Wednesday and Thursday, including connecting flights, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by the North China Air Traffic Management Bureau.

Whether those flights will fly on Friday as scheduled is still unknown, state-run Global Times reported.

Why Has Imran Khan Not Condemned Pulwama Attack: Amit Shah

BJP President Amit Shah has slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for not condemning the Pulwama terror attack and said how could India trust him.

Speaking at the India Today Conclave, Shah said, “The Pakistan PM should have at least criticised the Pulwama attacks, at least once. How can we expect anything from him, or trust him. Maybe the situation is not in his control. At least he could have done lip service.”

US Has Designated JeM to Cut Off the Flow of Money: Nathan Sales

“The United States has designated JeM and its leadership under our domestic authorities to cut off the flow of money and deprive them of the resources they need,” said Nathan Sales, Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counter-terrorism, US Dept of State.

Pak Foreign Minister to Miss OIC Meet

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday, 1 March, said that he will not attend the OIC meet due to Swaraj's presence at the conclave as the ‘guest of honour’, ANI reported.

“I will not attend Council of Foreign Ministers as a matter of principle for having extended invitation as a Guest of Honour to Sushma Swaraj,” he said.

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Pakistan Appeals UN, Russia to Mediate De-escalation Process

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has appealed to UN General Secretary and Russia to play a mediation role to de-escalate tensions in South Asia.

‘JeM Chief in Pakistan and Really Unwell’: Pak Foreign Min

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday, 28 February, said that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar is in Pakistan and he is really unwell. He further added that he is sick to the extent that he can’t leave his house.

Qureshi made these comments in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and added that’s the only information he has on the JeM chief.

Read the full story here.

MEA to Brief Parl Panel on Indo-Pak Relations Post Pulwama Terror Attack

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs will be briefed on the current Indo-Pak relations by the foreign affairs ministry on Friday.

The committee headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will meet in Parliament House this afternoon.

The briefing will be on the present Indo-Pak relations in the light of the recent strain in relationship after the Pulwama attack and a air strike by India, PTI reported quoting officials.

Nurturing Terrorism Will Do Countries No Good: EAM Sushma Swaraj

Addressing the OIC Plenary in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), External Affairs Minister said that harbouring and nuturing terrorism will do countries no good.

She further said, “If we want to save the humanity then we must tell the states who provides shelter and funding to the terrorists, to dismantle the infrastructure of the terrorist camps and stop providing funding and shelter to the terror organisations, based in that country.”

KEY EVENT

Banning Jammat-e-Islami is Condemnable: Mehbooba Mufti

PDP leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti condemned the banning of Jammat-e-Islami by the government.

In a tweet, Mufti said, “Ideas can’t be banned or jailed, need better idea to replace it. India is a democracy with different ideologies battling it out democratically. Steps like this chocks space for dissent and leads us to violent times.”

Entire Nation Proud of Pilot Abhinandan

PM Modi, while addressing a rally in Tamil Nadu said that the entire nation is proud of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who will be released by Pakistan today.

“Every Indian is proud that the brave Wing Commander Abhinandan is from Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Modi further condemned the alleged politicisation of the Indo-Pak tensions by the Opposition.

“A few parties, guided by Modi hatred have started hating India. No wonder, while the entire nation supports our armed forces, they suspect the armed forces. The world is supporting India’s fight against terror but a few parties suspect our fight against terror,” he said.

“ These are the same people whose statements are helping Pakistan and harming India. They are the same people whose statements are being happily quoted in Parliament of Pakistan & in the radio of Pakistan. I want to ask them- do you support our armed forces or suspect them? ” he added.

Nirmala Sitharaman Meets Doval, Chiefs of Armed Forces

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a security review meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the three services chiefs.

Pakistan Resumes Airspace Operations Partially

Thousands of air travellers stranded worldwide heaved a sigh of relief as Pakistan partially resumed flight operations in the country, two days after the country's airspace was closed in view of escalating tensions with India.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that flight operations at Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta airports resumed on Friday. However, the eastern side airports - Lahore, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabab and Bahawalpur - will remain closed till 4 March.

Pak Violates Ceasefire Along LoC

Ceasefire was violated by Pakistan along the LoC in Mendhar, Balakot and Krishna Ghati sectors at 6 pm, ANI reported.

1 CRPF Jawan Martyred in Encounter in Kupwara

One CRPF personnel has lost his life and three CRPF personnel were injured in an encounter in J&K’s Kupwara.

Pilot Abhinandan Returns to India

Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returned home from Pakistan on Friday, 1 March, to a hero's welcome. He crossed the Attari-Wagah border, almost three days after he was captured. Varthaman was handed over at 9.20 pm.

The pilot crossed the border with Director India in Pakistan’s Foreign Office Dr Fareha Bugti and IAF Group Captain Joy Thomas Kurien.

US Seeks Information On Potential Misuse Of F-16 By Pakistan

The US is seeking more information on the potential misuse of American-made F-16 fighter jets by Pakistan against India in violation of the end-user agreement, the State Department has said.

"We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information," a State Department spokesperson told PTI when asked about report that Pakistan has violated end-user agreement with the United States in this week's border clash with India.

Also Read : US Questions Pakistan On Potential Misuse of F-16s Against India

"Why Would Our Forces Attack Our Territory?": Jaitley Slams Confusion Over Balakot Air Strikes

Speaking on the IAF's Balakot air strikes, Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday, 2 March, questioned the confusion over the geographical origin of Balakot. "Some people whom I call compulsive contrarians found a new Balakot," he said.

Jaitley made the comments during the launch of the book, 'Mann Ki Baat - A Social Revolution on Radio'.

"When our Air Force reached Balakot in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), before we could get any information, some people started saying Balakot is along LoC. Some people, whom I call compulsive contrarians found a new Balakot and didn't check that... that Bala Kote is in our Poonch. Why would our forces attack our territory?"

Chief Air Marshal R Nambiar To Review Fighting Formations' Operational Preparedness

Western Air Command Chief Air Marshal R Nambiar will visit Srinagar on Saturday to review operational preparedness of the fighting formations, reported ANI.

He will also review the recent aerial engagement between the India and Pakistan's combat aircraft over Rajouri sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

There Was No Pressure on Pak to Release Abhinandan: Pak FM Qureshi

Pakistan was not under "pressure" or "any compulsion" to release Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday, reported PTI.

"There was no pressure on Pakistan to release him nor any compulsion," he said.

In an interview with BBC Urdu, Qureshi said: "We wanted to convey to them (India) that we do not want to increase your sorrow, we do not want your citizens to be miserable, we want peace".

'Time For Pakistan's Leaders To Stand Up Against Extremists,' Says Gabbard

Democratic presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard called out Pakistan over terrorism and said it's time for Pakistan leaders to "stand up against extremists", reported PTI.

"It's time for Pakistan's leaders to stand up against extremists," Gabbard said, as she slammed the country for providing terrorists with a safe haven which is causing tensions with India.

"As long as Pakistan is providing terrorists with a safe haven, there will be heightened tensions between the two countries," Gabbard said.

Samjhauta Express Services To Resume From India From 3 March

The Samjhauta Express services will resume from India from 3 March, reported ANI.

Bipin Rawat to Review Preparedness of Forces

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Army Commander, Northern Command visited White Knight Corps will review the operational preparedness of the forces in the Corps Zone in view of the current situation along LoC and International Border.

59 Nobel Laureates Urge India-Pak To Diffuse Tensions

A letter signed by the Noble winners, under the aegis of the Laureates and Leaders for Children, a platform founded by India's Nobel peace laureate Satyarthi, was submitted to India and Pakistan's Permanent Representatives to the United Nations on Saturday, 2 March, it said.

"In the best interest of our children, we, the Laureates and Leaders for Children call upon the Prime Minister of India HE Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Pakistan HE Imran Khan to demonstrate wise leadership and exercise immediate restraint at this critical juncture, to avoid any escalation into a full-fledged war," reads the joint appeal, according to the statement from Satyarthi's office.

This is for the first time ever that such a large number of Nobel laureates, ranging from peace laureates to those from the fields of economics, chemistry, physics and medicine have come together with a joint appeal to call attention to the lives and future of more than half a billion children in India and Pakistan that are at stake, the statement claimed.

UK's PM May Calls on Imran Khan To Take Action Against Terror Groups

Downing Street said that on Sunday, 3 March, British PM May spoke to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, reported PTI.

During the phone conversation between the two leaders, May welcomed Khan's commitment to reduce tensions following the return of captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman by the Pakistani authorities earlier this week.

"The Prime Minister May welcomed his commitment to reducing tensions with India, and the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

"The leaders discussed the need to address the causes of this conflict. The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of Pakistan taking action against all terrorist groups, in support of global efforts to combat terrorism,” the spokesperson said.

Both leaders also "reiterated their commitment" to the UK-Pakistan bilateral relationship during the interaction.

During an urgent question in the House of Commons on Wednesday, 27 February, UK Foreign Office minister Mark Field had told MPs that the UK would continue to support a listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed and its leader, Masood Azhar, under a UN Security Council Resolution.

Ceasefire Violations Along LoC Resumes

Pakistani troops Monday violated ceasefire by targeting forward posts and villages along the Line of Control in Akhnoor sector here, breaking a two-day lull in cross-border skirmishes, amid heightened India-Pakistan tensions.

"The firing from across the border started around 0300 hours and stopped at 0630 hours," a defence spokesman said.  He said Pakistan initiated the unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing mortar shells and small arms on forward posts and villages.

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