India and Pakistan both said they shot down each other’s fighter jets Wednesday, with Pakistan capturing an Indian pilot a day after Indian warplanes carried out an aerial bombing on Pakistan for the first time since a 1971 war, prompting world powers to urge restraint.
Abhinandan, an Indian pilot, whose jet was shot down by Pakistani forces, was beaten up by Pakistani people and eventually saved by Pakistani armed forces. India is asking for his safe return.
There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics. pic.twitter.com/8IQ5BPhLj2
Amidst escalating tensions, the United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May said, “We're in regular contact with both countries, urging dialogue and diplomatic solutions to ensure regional stability.”
Both countries have ordered airstrikes over the last two days, the first time in history that two nuclear-armed powers have done so, while ground forces have exchanged fire in more than a dozen locations.
The fear of a full-fledged war has engulfed the region with citizens of both countries protesting a possible war.
Netizens are storming Twitter with #SayNoToWar. Many activists from India are saying that the Indian Prime Minister playing an electoral game to ensure his victory in the upcoming general elections in May 2019.
Many are also tweeting about how classist war is where foot soldiers like Abhinandan are the real casualties and the political elite only reap the profit of war economically and politically.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called for talks with India and hoped “better sense” would prevail so that both sides could de-escalate.
“History tells us that wars are full of miscalculation. My question is that, given the weapons we have, can we afford miscalculation,” Khan said during a televised broadcast to the nation. “We should sit down and talk.”
Security forces and common civilians pay the price for war and warmongers, rafale dealers, tv anchors and politicians make career out of it. Wish for the safe return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. #SayNoToWar
Both countries have canceled flights near the Line of Control. The flight monitoring group Flight Radar said that international flights are avoiding the whole area while high-speed internet has been suspended in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Kashmiris are afraid of war the most as any such event between India and Pakistan will see them as the direct victims.
Since Pulwama attack in which 49 Indian soldiers were killed, India multiplied its hostilities against Kashmiris by arresting hundreds of activists in Kashmir, persecuting Kashmiris across India and then followed it by aerial strikes in Pakistan.
The renewed escalation between India and Pakistan came after a suicide bomber from religious extremist group Jaish-e-Muhammed rammed into a vehicle carrying Indian security forces, killing 44 members on Feb. 14.