EU urges 'maximum restraint' from New Delhi, Islamabad after Indian aggression

Pakistan's aircraft chase away Indian jets after LoC airspace violation violated near Muzaffarabad sector


Afp February 26, 2019
The escalation comes after a February 14 suicide bombing that killed over 40 paramilitary forces in occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama district. PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS: The European Union (EU) on Tuesday called on New Delhi and Islamabad to exercise "maximum restraint" after Indian warplanes violated Pakistani airspace on Tuesday near the Line of Control (LoC), sending tensions soaring between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals.

"We remain in contact with both countries and what we believe is essential is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions," EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) jets were chased away by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aircraft which were immediately scrambled to thwart any aggressive move by the country’s eastern neighbour, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

PAF chases away Indian jets after LoC airspace violation

The escalation came after a February 14 suicide bombing that killed over 40 paramilitary forces in occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama district, setting off a chain of threats and counter-warnings between the neighbours.



The military’s media wing added that the LoC was violated near Muzaffarabad sector. “Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot,” said DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor.



Gen Ghafoor also tweeted images of the payload, shards of metal in a heavily forested area, dropped by the escaping Indian aircraft.



However, India’s defence ministry said that it had no information about Indian aircraft violating Pakistani airspace.

The LoC violation comes a day after a meeting between army chief General Qamar Bajwa and air chief Anwar Mujahid Khan at the Air Headquarters in Islamabad on Monday.

Amid relentless saber-rattling from New Delhi, the military reiterated that Pakistan’s armed forces are fully prepared for a befitting response to any Indian aggression or misadventure.

Islamabad has already offered New Delhi every possible help to investigate the attack and even held out an assurance that action would be taken if Delhi shared credible evidence of involvement of any group using Pakistan’s soil for attacks in mainland India.

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