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India Urges Pakistan to Immediately Release Pilot Arrested Over Kashmir Incident

© AFP 2023 / Tauseef MUSTAFA Indian soldiers gesture near the remains of an Indian Air Force aircraft after it crashed in Budgam district, some 30 kms from Srinagar on February 27, 2019
Indian soldiers gesture near the remains of an Indian Air Force aircraft after it crashed in Budgam district, some 30 kms from Srinagar on February 27, 2019 - Sputnik International
NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - New Delhi calls on Islamabad to immediately release and return to homeland the Indian pilot arrested by the Pakistani Army following the aerial incident over the disputed Kashmir region, the Indian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. 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 statement said.

Earlier in the day, the Indian Foreign Ministry said a Pakistani jet was shot down in the aerial incident over the disputed Kashmir region, adding that India also lost one Mig-21 aircraft. The Pakistani army said it had downed two Indian jets that crossed the so-called Line of Control (LoC) separating the Indian-and Pakistani-controlled parts of Jammu and Kashmir and arrested two pilots. The injured one was sent to a hospital and receiving necessary medical help, while the other pilot is in custody, according to the Pakistani military.

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The day before, the Indian Air Force carried out an airstrike against what they claimed was a camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad group, considered terrorist by India, which was located across the LoC. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry has slammed the airstrike as a violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

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This incident followed the February 14 attack, in which a car carrying over 100 pounds of explosives was detonated on a highway next to a security convoy in the Pulwama district of the Jammu and Kashmir state, killing 45 Indian paramilitary officers. This was the biggest terrorist attack in India since 2008, when over 150 people were killed in Mumbai. India has named Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed residing in Pakistan, as the person responsible for ordering the attack.

Pakistan has rejected the allegations of its involvement in the attack and said that this was New Delhi's strategy to divert international attention from human rights violations taking place in the Kashmir region.

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