India confirms IAF Pilot in Pakistan custody; warns to ensure his safe return
India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention."
New Delhi: Making it official that one Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot is in the custody of Pakistan army, India, on Wednesday, has made it clear to Pak authorities that they have to ensure no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel and they expect his immediate and safe return.
MEA, in a statement, said, "India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention."
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had earlier said that India has lost one MiG 21 fighter aircraft during combat with Pakistan in which one Pak Air Force figher aircraft was shot down.
Raveesh, during a press briefing earlier, said, "One Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by Indian Air Force. In this engagement we have lost one MiG 21. Pilot is mising in action. Pakistan claims he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts."
Sharing a video along with his tweet, Pakistan Army Spokesperson, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, said, "There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhinandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics."
Pakistan, however, had earlier claimed that it has captured two Indian pilots, one of whom was identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The identity of the other was said to be not known.
Meanwhile, flight operations from various airports that were shut in the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have been asked to resume.
The order of shut down was issued after an IAF jet crashed in Budgam district and amid escalation of cross-Line of Control shelling between armies of India and Pakistan.
The list of airports that was included in the complete shut down order were - Amritsar, Jammu, Srinagar and Leh, Kullu-Manali, Kangra, Shimla and Pathankot.
While the official did not specify the nature of the emergency, it is believed the step was taken in view of an IAF jet crashing in Budgam district this morning.
Following the Indian airstrike yesterday, Pakistan started heavy shelling and firing from across the border. It has also stopped flights from Islamabad and Lahore.