At around 3:30 AM on Tuesday morning, Indian fighter jets breached the Line of Control (LoC) and came into Pakistani air space and territory.
In a tweet by the Director General Inter-Services Public Relations, Major General Asif Ghafoor said “Indian Air Force violated the Line of Control.” He also added that, following the incident of the Indian fighter jets, “Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled”, as a result of which the Indian Aircrafts made a hasty retreat back to India.
General Ghafoor tweeted that the, “Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzaffarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping, which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.”
FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a short statement, said that, “India has violated the LoC and Pakistan reserves the right to give a befitting response.” The FM has also called an emergency meeting on Tuesday, following the Indian intrusion.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), linked the violation of the LoC to the upcoming elections. In the statement they said, “we realize its election year and there is a desperation across the border. Fact of the matter is, Indian jets were forced to retreat in haste by Pakistan army patrols and dumped fuel, which in their scramble they thought was a bomb.”
Reports in India
This air space intrusion comes days after PM Modi, in his rally in Rajasthan, said that Pakistan and India needed to work on “poverty and illiteracy together” and hinted at a possibility of a meeting with PM Khan to discuss regional peace.
According to New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), 12 Mirage 200 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force dropped 1,000 kg bombs on terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul-Mujahideen, with a 100% success rate. However, according to Pakistani sources, no casualties or damage has been done on any level.
NDTV also reported that, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters, in a brief statement, that “credible information was received the JeM was attempting other attacks in the country. A pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary. India struck the biggest camp of JeM in Balakot.”
The Indian intrusion was past the borders of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and falls under the borders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). Therefore, the Indian Air Force intrusion is not one that took place in Kashmir, but is far beyond the region and is directly on Pakistani soil.
The tensions between the nuclear powers are at an all-time high and de-escalation efforts seem to be dwindling.
Updates to follow.