India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict or Cooperation?
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Thousands of Indians, some waving flags and singing, gathered on Friday to give a hero's welcome to an Indian air force pilot due to be returned across the border after being shot down by Pakistan.
Media on both sides of the Wagah border crossing was pushed back around 1 kilometre from the border, sources told Al Jazeera. Pakistan's foreign minister said on Friday he would not attend a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Abu Dhabi this weekend because his Indian counterpart had been invited to the event. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has been invited by the Emirati hosts as a "guest of honour" to the two-day gathering, set to kick off on Friday. Qureshi said India is neither a member of the nation organisation nor has observer status.
With India and Pakistan standing on the brink of war this week, several false videos, pictures and messages circulated widely on social media, sparking anger and heightening tension in both countries. The video of an injured pilot from a recent Indian air show and images from a earthquake have been taken out of context to attempt to mislead tens of millions on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and its messenger service, WhatsApp. Pratik Sinha, co-founder of fact-checking website, Alt News, said they had received requests to verify news from journalists and people on social media.
There is so much out there that we know is fake, but we're not able to fact-check all of it," Sinha told Reuters news ageny. In Pakistan, a purported video of a second captured Indian pilot was being widely circulated. Fact-checking website Boom noted the clip was from an air show in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, where two planes crashed on February The founder of armed group Jaish-e-Muhammad, Masood Azhar, is in Pakistan and is "very unwell", Pakistan's foreign minister has revealed.
When questioned why he was not arrested, Qureshi replied: "If they [India] give us evidence which is acceptable to the courts of Pakistan Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed hope for a prompt settlement between India and Pakistan, according to a Kremlin statement. The Russian leader expressed his condolences on the Pulwama suicide attack on February 14 that killed Indian paramilitary troops.
In a telephone conversation, Khan and Erdogan discussed the recent tensions between India and Pakistan, as well as recent developments in the region, the Turkish president's office confirmed.
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Indian government bans Jamaat-e-Islami JeI in Indian-administered Kashmir for five years, accusing it of supporting an armed rebellion in the disputed region that is at the heart of an escalating conflict with rival Pakistan. India's home ministry said the JeI has been banned for "unlawful association" and for activities "prejudicial to internal security and public order". India is welcoming Pakistan's decision to free a captured pilot whose Mig fighter was shot down in air raids this week, but top generals from the army and air force make it clear that their forces remain on high alert to respond to any "provocation" from Islamabad.
In the village of Bakoot, just a few kilometers away from the disputed Pakistan-India frontier, an uneasy calm prevails during the day. But the nights bring sheer terror, with darkness accompanied by a furious exchange of artillery shelling.
Read our correspondent Imran Khan's dispatch from Pakistan-administered Kashmir here. India's opposition parties and civil society groups are criticising Modi for continuing his scheduled public events, including an election rally, while staying mum amid a major military stand-off with Pakistan. Read our full report here. Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, says he has spoken with the leaders of India and Pakistan and has urged them to avoid "any action that would escalate and greatly increase risk".
Pakistan's airspace will remain closed to commercial flights until 6pm local time International flights have been rerouted, causing delays, instead of taking the normal route over the India-Pakistan airspace. Pakistani Airspace has just been opened for some flights. As a peace gesture we will release him tomorrow," Khan told a joint sitting of parliament in the capital, Islamabad on Thursday.
India and Pakistan
Khan also said he had unsuccessfully tried to make telephone contact with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Wednesday night. Read the full report here. Pakistan's army is on "high alert" along the Line of Control - the de facto border dividing Kashmir into two parts, each administered by India and Pakistan. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is ready to speak with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on telephone, while offering peace, Pakistan's foreign minister has said. Speaking to local television channel Geo News on Thursday, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan is prepared to return the captured Indian pilot if it helps reduce tensions.
If you have any evidence, give it to us. Today, [India] has sent a dossier Read the full story here. US President Donald Trump is hopeful that India and Pakistan may be on the cusp of progress after increasing tensions. Trump told reporters at the end of a two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong un in Vietnam that India and Pakistan have "been going at it" and that the US has been involved, "trying to help them both out" to "see if we can get some organisation and some peace.
It has been two weeks since the suicide car bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed at least 42 Indian paramilitary troops, sparking tensions between India and Pakistan. Here is a look at all the events and reactions to the crisis so far. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has expressed concern at the current situation in the region, urging India and Pakistan to show restraint and de-escalate, Pakistan's foreign ministry said. Qureshi called on the UK to "play its due role in bringing down tensions between Pakistan and India.
Signed in by representatives of 64 countries, the Geneva Conventions govern the protection for wounded members of armed forces, prisoners of war and civilians during armed conflict. Pakistan's airspace will remain closed to commercial flights until midnight on Thursday, the country's civil aviation authority said. Please stay in touch with your airlines for timely update on any further changes.
PCAA regrets the inconvenience to its patrons. Pakistan International Airlines, the national carrier, advised its customers to expect further delays, adding that all flights were being rescheduled. India's foreign ministry has told Pakistan's acting high commissioner that New Delhi expects the immediate and safe return of a military pilot held by Pakistan after two Indian fighter jets were shot down over Pakistani airspace. India also expects his immediate and safe return," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Al Jazeera's Asad Hashim reports from the site of Tuesday's air raid by the Indian Air Force and found no sign of serious casualties or structural damage. Read his full report here. For villagers living on the de facto border between Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir, the threat of war is ever present.
Even when there is not all out conflict, shelling and clashes between Indian and Pakistani soldiers are not uncommon. Journalist Rifat Fareed reports from the village of Silikot in the Indian-controlled side of the region, where she met residents whose lives have been scarred by conflict. Read her full report here.
Islamabad and New Delhi have fought two wars over Kashmir since independence, with the LoC being the focus of the hostilities. The actual line marks the military front when the two South Asian states declared a ceasefire ending the First India-Pakistan War. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke on Wednesday on phone with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and offered mediation between India and Pakistan, after rising tensions between the two countries. Zarif, whose Monday's resignation was rejected by Rouhani on Wednesday, urged both countries to exercise restraint, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported.
Germany on Wednesday called on both Pakistan and India to de-escalate tensions after cross-border air raids set the region on edge. In this explainer video , Al Jazeera looks at the history behind the conflict in Kashmir, and the factors that continue to fuel tensions.
India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict or Cooperation? (Hardcover) | Skylight Books
This handy data set gives you some idea of just how powerful India and Pakistan are. From the number of fighter planes and tanks, to the types of missiles each has, we have you covered. Airlines including Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad, have cancelled flights to Pakistan and some parts of India amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Update: Very busy skies here in the Gulf today — flights that would ordinarily overfly Pakistan are re-routing, especially those originating from Thailand.
Federica Mogherini has urged the "utmost restraint" amid tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad. Indian media outlet NDTV says government officials in New Delhi have condemned Pakistan's publication of video and images showing a captured Indian pilot. In a televised address, he said: "History tells us that wars are full of miscalculation.
My question is that given the weapons we have can we afford miscalculation. In an earlier comment, the military said it had two members of the Indian armed forces in custody. India says it has one pilot unaccounted for. There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army's custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics.
The news followed a similar decision by Bahrain's national carrier, which suspended all flights to Pakistan earlier on Wednesday. Turkey 's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu voiced concern over the increasing tension between India and Pakistan. We want to call for common sense and calm between the parties. Steps that will escalate the tension should be avoided," Cavusoglu said.
He pointed to the dispute over Kashmir as the source of the tension, telling reporters in the Turkish capital, Ankara, that it must be solved as soon as possible within the framework of international law. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said his country is ready for dialogue with India and urged the need for "better sense to prevail". India's Foreign Ministry said one of their pilots is missing after Pakistan claimed to have captured two Indian pilots.
Ravish Kumar, the ministry spokesperson, also stressed need to "ascertain the facts" amid competing narratives with Pakistan. The pilot is missing in action.
Education and armed conflict: the Kashmir insurgency in the nineties
Pakistan has claimed he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts," Kumar said. Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air has suspended all flights to and from Pakistan with immediate effect due to the closure of Pakistani airspace, according to a statement from the company.
Retired diplomat Lalit Mansingh said a new red line with Pakistan has been drawn, adding that India's policy of strategic restraint "is no longer", according to the AP news agency.
Meanwhile, India suspended flights from airports in the disputed region of Kashmir and the state of Punjab until further notice, officials said. What irks India even more is the presence of China in this region due to the illegal ceding of Shaksgam Valley by Pakistan to China in a border agreement between the two countries, rendering the Kashmir dispute trilateral rather than bilateral. After taking a series of right steps, such as ratifying the Paris Agreement and signing the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, India does not want to find itself branded a naysayer again only due to geopolitical reasons.
The best way forward would have been to let the issue pass despite valid objections based on sovereignty and technical feasibility. After all, at the GCF board meeting, India is representing not only itself but a larger group. At the same time, barring the technical standards followed by GCF projects at the national or regional levels, it is surprising that a project aimed at reducing the risk of GLOF could be concentrated in just Pakistan and not take into account the fact that this is a common phenomenon in the entire Himalayan region.
India, being a constant victim of GLOF, cannot be completely left out of the equation and provoking it by not mentioning it at all, is rather unbecoming.