Pakistan shuts down airspace after tension over LoC ‘violations’

New Delhi: Pakistan has shut down all of its airports and airspace after the Indian Air Force (IAF) shot an F-16 in the Pakistani airspace that violated the Indian airspace in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and Nowshera sectors.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan had immediately stopped its domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports.

International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace have been affected, reported ANI quoting sources.

Earlier in the day, top Jammu and Kashmir Police sources said three PAF F-16 fighter jets violated Indian airspace in Nowshera sector, but were pushed back by the Indian side.

“The jets entered into the Indian air space over Nowshera sector of Rajouri district this morning,” a police official said, adding that the Indian fighter jets on air patrol immediately scrambled and pushed them back beyond the LoC.

While fleeing the Indian airspace, the Pakistani jets also dropped payload in the Indian territory. One of the three Pak jets was taken down by the Indian Air Force, top officials said.

However, Pakistani authorities claimed that two Indian fighter jets crashed on Wednesday, one in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam district and the other across the Line of Control (LoC), whose pilot has been captured alive.

In a tweet, the Pakistani military spokesperson, Asif Ghafoor, said, “In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), IAF crossed LoC. PAF shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K (Pakistan administered Kashmir)… One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground.”