Indian Foreign Ministry confirms one pilot is missing after aerial engagement

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Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar is addressing a news press conference after Pakistan made an extraordinary claim of capturing two Indian pilots. Also joining the press conference is Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor of the Indian Air Force.

Both the Pakistani government and TV channels in the neighbouring country broadcast a disturbing video of what they claimed to be the Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan.

Kumar said that he will not take any questions. He read out a small statement before ending the press conference.

Here’s the highlights of the press conference:

  • Against India’s counter-terrorism action by India on Tuesday, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target Indian military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully. The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly.
  • In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by Indian Air Force. The Pakistani Air Force aircraft was seen by the ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side
  • In this engagement we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action.  Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts
  • In that aerial engagement one Pakistani aircraft was shot down.

Pakistani TV channels on Wednesday had broadcast a video of what they claimed was of Wing Commander Abhinandan. In the video, the pilot being shown as Wing Commander Abhinandan was seen blind-folded with hands tied behind his back. He was heard saying, “I am Wing Commander Abhinandan.  My service no 27981. I am a flying pilot.”

He went on to say, “May I request a little information? Am I with the Pakistani army.” He then asked, “Am I speaking to an officer?” People present in the room replied in the affirmative.

If indeed the video shown the Pakistani government is of the Indian pilot, Pakistan has violated the Geneva Convention on the prisoners of war, which expects nations to ‘POWs must be treated humanely in all circumstances. They are protected against any act of violence, as well as against intimidation, insults, and public curiosity.’

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