The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday said New Delhi strongly objects to Pakistan’s “vulgar display” of an injured Indian Air Force personnel in violation of the International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Pakistani government had tweeted a video clip that purportedly showed the pilot, but later deleted the tweet. Scroll.in has not independently verified the authenticity of the video. In the video, copies of which are still available on social media, the person, with a bloody face, identifies himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan.
The ministry’s statement came hours after it confirmed that an IAF pilot had gone missing in action after India responded to incursions by the Pakistan Air Force near the Line of Control. Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the IAF shot down a Pakistani Air Force fighter aircraft after Islamabad targeted military installations on India’s side of the border.
India on Wednesday afternoon also summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan to lodge a strong protest at the “unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan”. India claimed Pakistan’s act was in contrast to India’s “non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike” at a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp across the Line of Control in Pakistan’s Balakot on Wednesday.
The statement came soon after Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said only one Indian pilot was under Pakistan Army’s custody. “Wing Comd [Commander] Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics,” he tweeted.
Here’s the full text of the MEA statement:
The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned this afternoon by MEA to lodge a strong protest at the unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan against India earlier today, including by violation of the Indian air space by Pakistan Air Force and targeting of Indian military posts.
This is in contrast to the India’s non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a JeM terrorist camp in Balakot on 26 February 2019. It is unfortunate that instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil, Pakistan has acted with aggression against India.
It was clearly conveyed that India reserves the right to take firm and decisive action to protect its national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity against any act of aggression or cross-border terrorism.
India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return.
Regret was expressed at continuing denial by Pakistan’s political and military leadership at the presence of terrorist infrastructure in territories under its control. A dossier was handed over to Pakistan side with specific details of JeM complicity in Pulwama terror attack and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan. It was conveyed that India expects Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism emanating from territories under its control.