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Jet downing raises India-Pakistan tension

Pakistan says it has shot down two Indian military jets and captured a pilot in a major escalation between the nuclear powers over Kashmir.

India said it
lost one MiG21 fighter and a pilot was missing in action.

Pakistani PM
Imran Khan said the two sides could not afford a miscalculation with the
weapons they had.

India and
Pakistan – both nuclear-armed states – claim all of Kashmir, but control only
parts of it.

They have
fought three wars since independence from Britain and partition in 1947. All
but one was over Kashmir.

The aerial attacks
across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Indian and Pakistani territory are
the first since a war in 1971.

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They follow a militant
attack in Kashmir which killed 40 Indian troops – the deadliest to take place
during a three-decade insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir. A
Pakistan-based group said it carried out the attack.

The BBC’s Soutik Biswas, in Delhi, says the
challenge for India and Pakistan now is to contain the latest escalation before
things get completely out of control.

military spokesman says there is only one Indian pilot in the custody of the
Pakistani army. Officials had previously said two pilots had been captured and
one had been taken to hospital.

Major General
Asif Ghafoor said Wing Commander Abhinandan was being “treated as per
norms of military ethics”.

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Pakistan’s information ministry published but subsequently deleted a video
showing the pilot – blindfolded and with blood on his face – identifying
himself to soldiers.

Another video
circulating on social media appeared to show the pilot being beaten by
residents in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir before the arrival of Pakistani

information ministry also tweeted what it said was footage of one of the downed
Indian jets.

In India,
Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar acknowledged the loss of a
jet and its pilot.

He also said
that an Indian plane had shot down a Pakistani fighter jet and Indian ground
forces observed it falling on the Pakistani side of the LoC. Pakistan has
denied any of its jets had been hit.

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In a
televised address, Prime Minister Khan offered India talks over terrorism and
warned against further escalation.

“If we let it happen, it will remain neither in my nor Narendra Modi’s control,” he said.