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February 27, 2019
U.S. Built F-16 Shot down By India In Border Standoff

By Luis Arellano

As U.S. President Donald Trump visits Asia to reduce the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons — two other nuclear armed states in the region appear to be of a border war.

India claimed to have shot down a U.S. built F-16 fighter jet today as tensions as skirmishes with its neighbor Pakistan continue into the second day. For its part the Pakistani military said that it shot down two Indian warplanes which violated its airspace as tensions rose between the two rivals — both armed with nuclear weapons. I

“PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area,” said Pakistani Major General Asif Ghafoor a spokesperson for the Pakistani Armed Forces.

AJ&K refers to the Pakistani controlled portion of Jammu and Kashmir while “IOK” refers to the Indian controlled portion of Kashmir. The spokesperson later clarified that only one pilot was in captivity.

Footage released on social media appears to show one of the pilots in captivity.

 

The two countries have fought four wars since they gained independence from the British Empire in 1947. Most recently in 1999 where the intervention of the Clinton Administration played a key role in preventing that border conflict from escalating into a nuclear exchange.

President Trump is in Asia as the crisis unfolds taking part in a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Ung in Vietnam. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on both sides to avoid escalation.

Yesterday the two sides exchanged heavy mortar fire along their disputed border after Indian war planes carried out air strikes on alleged militant camps in the disputed regions as an Indian politician compared the strikes to the America’s  special forces raid on Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2011 that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Ladin.

“This used to be only an imagination, a wish. There was frustration and disappointment. It is possible today,” said Arun Jaitley  India’s Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Government of India.

 

 

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