Tensions between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan flared up this week after either side carried out tit-for-tat air strikes and shot down one another’s fighter jets, prompting international considerations over a possible outbreak of warfare in South Asia. Pakistan stated it additionally captured an Indian pilot who is about to be launched on Friday as a gesture of peace in direction of New Delhi from Islamabad.
The mountainous area of Kashmir has been a supply of conflict between the 2 international locations since their independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
Jammu and Kashmir was a former princely state the place numerous folks have been killed and others have been pushed away by the violence throughout the partition. Since then, India and Pakistan have fought a number of wars over the area — each international locations declare the area in full however management solely elements of it. This has led to innumerable conflicts between the 2 international locations.
While this week’s escalation seems to be cooling for now, here’s a timeline of how the occasions unfolded during the last two weeks.
Feb. 14: A suicide bomber rammed a automobile right into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir, killing greater than 40 in what was described as one of many deadliest assaults on safety forces within the area in many years.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that “a befitting reply will be given to the perpetrators of the heinous attack and their patrons.”
Feb. 15: A Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed duty for the assault.
Pakistan’s international ministry stated it has “always condemned heightened acts of violence” in Kashmir however it strongly rejected “any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations.”
India’s Ministry of External Affairs stated Jaish-E-Mohammed and its management are positioned in Pakistan. “(They) cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities. They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands,” the official spokesperson stated.
Feb. 16: Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted New Delhi withdrew Pakistan’s “most favored nation” standing, which is often given to international locations receiving sure commerce benefits akin to low tariffs. Following that, primary customs obligation on Pakistani exports to India have been raised to 200 %, he stated.
Tweet: India has withdrawn MFN standing to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident. Upon withdrawal, primary customs obligation on all items exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200% with rapid impact. #Pulwama
Feb. 18: Nine folks, together with 4 Indian troopers and a policeman, have been killed throughout a gun battle in India-controlled Kashmir, additional escalating tensions between the 2 international locations. Reports stated the operation focused a residential space stated to be a hideout for suspected militants.
Feb. 19: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan provided India help to research the suicide bombing however he warned that his nation will retaliate in opposition to any acts of aggression from New Delhi. India dismissed Khan’s provide, citing earlier terror assaults in Mumbai and an airbase.
Feb. 20: India halted an necessary bus service between Srinagar, the capital of India-controlled Kashmir, and Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, with out clarification.
Feb. 23—24: New Delhi stepped up its crackdown in Kashmir by detaining greater than 160 separatists, stories stated. Five folks have been killed as Indian safety forces clashed with members of a Pakistani militant group within the disputed area.
Feb. 26: India stated its air drive performed strikes in opposition to a Jaish-e-Mohammed coaching base at Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and that the assault killed a “very large number” of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders. Pakistan denied there have been any casualties from that assault and stated the strikes missed any targets.
Tweet: Payload of unexpectedly escaping Indian aircrafts fell in open.
Pakistan’s international ministry stated the “Indian aggression was a threat to regional peace and stability and would get a befitting response by Pakistan at a time and place of its choosing.”
Feb. 27: Pakistani media reported that Khan chaired a gathering of the National Command Authority, the physique that oversees the nation’s nuclear warheads.
Pakistan stated its air drive carried out strikes throughout the so-called Line of Control to exhibit its “right, will and capability for self defense.” The Line of Control is the de-facto border between the Indian and Pakistani elements of Kashmir.
A spokesman for the Pakistani armed forces stated Indian planes entered its air house and two jets have been shot down. One of the plane fell on India’s aspect of Kashmir whereas the second got here down in Pakistani territory, and its pilot was captured.
India’s international ministry acknowledged pilot was lacking and a fight jet had been misplaced. The ministry spokesperson additionally claimed a Pakistani jet had been shot down within the altercation.
Then, a video emerged of a person recognized by Islamabad recognized because the captured Indian pilot.
India additionally stated it handed over a file to its counterpart with particular particulars of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s position within the Feb. 14 terror assault and their presence in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Khan then referred to as for talks with India and stated he hoped “better sense” would prevail to de-escalate the state of affairs.
Feb. 28: Khan advised his parliament that Pakistan will launch the captured Indian pilot the following day as a “peace gesture” in direction of India.
Tweet: As peace gesture, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, introduced to launch the captured Indian pilot, Wing Commander, Abhi Nandan, tomorrow.
The transfer was welcomed by the chiefs of India’s three armed forces throughout a joint press convention Thursday night — however they’d not say if New Delhi thought-about the return a de-escalation within the conflict.
Mar. 1: Pakistan is about at hand over Wing Commander Abhinanda to India on the Wagah border crossing between the 2 international locations.