India objects to Pakistan's display of injured IAF pilot, demands safe and immediate release
New Delhi, Feb 27: The government on Wednesday said it expected the "immediate and safe return" of an Indian pilot in Pakistan's custody after fighter jets of both sides engaged in an air battle.
''India has 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,'' read the statement issued by MEA.
''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,'' it read.
Pakistan detained Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman following a fierce engagement between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control in which a Pakistani jet was downed. IAF also lost a MiG 21 jet in the engagement. "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 MEA said.
The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned this afternoon by MEA to lodge a strong protest at the unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India earlier today, including by violation of the Indian air space by Pakistan Air Force and targeting of Indian military posts.
India on Wednesday said Pakistan responded to its counter-terrorism action against Jaish-e-Mohammed by using its air force to target Indian military installations, but was unsuccessful. One Pakistan Air Force jet was shot down by a MiG-21 Bison in an aerial engagement, but India lost a MiG 21, the ministry of external affairs said.
"The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. Pakistan has claimed to have shot down two Indian jets and arrested two pilots.
This is in contrast to India's non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a JeM terrorist camp in Balakot on 26 February 2019. It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India.