India and Pakistan both scrambled jets before dawn on Monday, NDTV reported quoting unidentified officials. According to NDTV, India scrambled two Sukhoi-30MKI jets first after detecting a Pakistan drone that flew close to the Indian border in Khemkharan town in Punjab, after which Pakistan sent two jets of its own.
However, according to ANI, India only sent its jets after it had detected an unmanned aerial vehicle and Pakistani F-16s flying close to the Indian border at around 3 am on Monday. Indian jets pushed the Pakistani ones back, ANI said, quoting unidentified officials. It is still unclear what actually happened, and neither India nor Pakistan has put out an official statement yet.
The news comes in the wake of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after the February 14 attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy, which killed 40 security personnel. The Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Indian Air Force then announced that it had attacked a Jaish camp in Balakot, Pakistan, on February 26.
A day after the strike, there were aerial skirmishes between India and Pakistan. On February 27, the Pakistani military claimed it had shot down two Indian Air Force jets – one had crashed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the other fell in Jammu and Kashmir. India maintained that Pakistan shot down one MiG-21 aircraft while the Indian Air Force shot down a Pakistani F-16 jet during the dogfight.
Pakistan had also captured Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was released and returned home on March 1.