Jets Shot Down As Kashmir Tensions Boil

161

The decades long row over who controls the border state of Kashmir between India and Pakistan is hotting up as both sides ratchet up the tension sparking fears of a full-scale war.

The countries have fought over the land before – in 1947, 1965 and 1999 – although friction has often erupted into confrontation since the independence of both nations.

In the latest violence, Pakistan claims to have downed two Indian jet fighters and has published images of the wreckage of one online.

The army also claims to have captured the pilot, who crashed into a hillside on the Pakistan side of the border.

The other jet is said to have come down on the Indian side of the border. The Indian government says a Mig 21 fighter was shot down and the pilot lost after engaging a Pakistan fighter, which was also shot down.

Pakistan denies the claim.

Terrorist attack

The jets were said to be flying in Pakistan airspace.

Earlier in the week, India had launched a revenge attack on an alleged terrorist training camp near the city of Balakot. India claims the camp was where a suicide bomber was briefed and obtained explosives in an attack last week that killed 40 Indian soldiers.

The dispute between India and Pakistan arose in 1947, when both gained independence from Britain.

Kashmir was given the right to join either country. The maharaja chose India, triggering the first war.

The region has been a tinder box since, mainly because Kashmir is the only |India state with a population that is 60% Muslim – the same religion as most of Pakistan.

Nuclear war fears

India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of funding militants to carry out insurgency attacks to overthrow their rule, which Pakistan denies.

The fear is the squabbling could lead to a horrific war as both countries are armed with nuclear weapons.

However, leaders on both sides are calling for restraint, claiming they do not want to go to war.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said her country would act “with responsibility and restraint”.

“India does not wish to see further escalation of the situation,” she said

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here