Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistan on Saturday night claimed that Indian fighter jets had violated the country’s airspace in two separate sectors and were forced out by its combat aircraft, a charge dismissed by India.
A Pakistan Air Force spokesman claimed that Indian jets were “forced to retreat” after Pakistani aircraft responded. He did not say when the airspace violations had occurred or how long the Indian jets had remained in Pakistani airspace.
However, Indian Air Force dismissed the Pakistani claim, saying there were “no such violation”.
“There were no reports of Indian Air Force fighter jets violating the Pakistani air space,” highly placed sources in the IAF Headquarters in New Delhi said.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s Information Minister Sherry Rehman said that when the matter was taken up with Indian authorities, they had described the violations as “inadvertent”.
“We have spoken to the Indian Air Force, they have informed us that this is an inadvertent incursion. We have made a routine response and the Pakistan Air Force is on alert. There is no need to hype the issue further than this,” she said.
Pakistani TV channels earlier reported that two Indian jets violated Pakistani airspace in the Lahore and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir sectors.
This spat between Islamabad and New Delhi comes in the wake of the armed forces on the either sides of the border in a state of heightened vigil following the 26 November terror attacks in Mumbai that claimed 183 lives.