New Delhi: India said Wednesday that a fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force was missing in action after his aircraft was “lost” following fighting with Pakistani fighter jets in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told a media briefing that Pakistan has claimed that the pilot was in its custody and India is “ascertaining the facts”.
Kumar said India had struck terrorist training camps in Pakistan Tuesday and “against this counter-terrorism action Pakistan has responded this morning by using its air force to target military installations on the Indian side”.
He said the Indian Air Force had foiled the attack successfully as the “PAF was detected and IAF responded instantly”.
In that aerial engagement one PAF aircraft was shot down by a MiG-21 Bison of IAF and the Pakistani plane was seen falling from the sky on the Pakistani side, Kumar said.
“We have unfortunately lost one MiG-21. The pilot is missing in action,” Kumar said.
The Indian statement came hours after Pakistan claimed that it shot down two Indian military aircraft over Pakistani air space and arrested two pilots.
In a 46-second video released by the Pakistan Army, a blindfolded man claimed that he’s IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan. “I am an IAF officer. My service No is 27981,” the man said in the video.
Pakistani military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor claimed that two IAF pilots were arrested. One pilot is injured and has been shifted to a hospital, while another one is unhurt, the spokesman added.
The spokesman also showed items and documents of the arrested pilots.
Addressing a press conference, he said one of the aircraft crashed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir while the other fell in Jammu and Kashmir.
“This morning PAF (Pakistan Air Force) jets while remaining in Pakistani airspace engaged six targets across the LoC,” he said.
“Our pilots locked on those six targets and we struck on open places,” he said, adding that it was decided that the PAF will not hit military targets.
He said some of the targets were in Bhimber Galli and Naran area where the supply depots were engaged from a distance.