Is it 1971 all over again? Many believe that the current situation in the Indian subcontinent is inching towards a full-blown war like what happened in more than four decades ago. The 1999 Kargil War can’t be taken into consideration as New Delhi never crossed the Line of Control and there was no possibility of escalation at a level which we are witnessing today. A day after the Indian Air Force’s pre-dawn air strike stunned Pakistan, Wednesday saw alleged Indian airspace violation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowshera sector.
There are reports that an F-16 fighter jet of the Pakistan Air Force was shot down by the Indian Air Force in Nowshera sector. On contrary, Pakistan has claimed that it not only dropped bombs but also captured a pilot alive. The claim has been rejected by Indian officials saying that nothing has happened to any fighter jet and all pilots are accounted for.
What is startling is the way both nations are closing down the airspace. Pakistan has completely shut down its airspace. All operations in Lahore, Multan and Faislabad have been closed down. India has also closed down over Jammu, Leh and Pathankot.
The present situation has all the making of a full-fledged war. Global powers and especially subcontinental neighbours have asked both nuclear powers to exercise restraint.
Meanwhile, Pakistan military spokesman has said that, “we do not want to escalate crisis with India, do not want to take region to war.” While there has been no official statement from New Delhi, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said that if US can conduct Abbottabad-like operation to kill Osama bin Laden, New Delhi also has the capacity to do similar operation.
Earlier, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said India committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at time and place of its choosing. More than 10 bombs were dropped by the Indian multi-role fighter jet Mirage 2000 at around 3:30 am on Tuesday.
The Pakistan government has decided a joint session of the Parliament. Prime minister has summoned a special meeting of NCA on February 27. Imran Khan has directed that elements of national power including the Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan to remain prepared for all eventualities, Radio Pakistan reported.