India doesn’t want to escalate situation, says Swaraj after Pakistan downs two jets


India sought to ease soaring tensions with Pakistan after Pakistan Air Force jets shot down two Indian Mig-21s who intruded into Pakistani airspace on Wednesday, with its foreign minister Sushma Swaraj saying the country does not wish to see further escalation of the situation.

Swaraj, who is in China with her counterparts from Beijing and Moscow, termed her country’s claims of a strike by Indian aircraft within Pakistani airspace as “pre-emptive” and said India would continue to act with “responsibility and restraint”.

“India does not wish to see further escalation of this situation. India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint,” she said.

A day ago, Indian aircraft had intruded into Pakistani airspace from the Muzaffarabad sector and dropped their payload on what India claimed was a terrorist camp, before they were repelled by timely action from the PAF.

The incursion into the Pakistani air space followed a series of threats by Indian political and military leadership after an attack on an Indian Army convoy at Pulwama by a local youth, in reaction to the oppression unleashed by the occupational forces.

The escalation has triggered international alarm, with the United States, China and the European Union calling for restraint.

“We encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement after speaking with his counterparts from both countries.