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  • Indian soldiers stand as smoke billows from the wreckage of Indian Air Force

    Indian soldiers stand as smoke billows from the wreckage of Indian Air Force's helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district in Kashmir Feb. 27, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 February 2019

India and Pakistan shot down each other's jets across the Line of Control while citizens of both countries take to Twitter with the hashtag #SayNoToWar. 

After Tuesday’s attack on Pakistan by India, tensions have escalated at India-Pakistan Line of Control dividing Indian Occupied Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir while citizens urged for peace between the two nuclear power nations of South Asia.

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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.

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 activists against war . | Photo: Facebook / People's Media

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.”

In turn, Indian Prime Minister Modi has not commented yet on the situation but the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said her country would act "with responsibility and restraint".

"India does not wish to see further escalation of the situation," she said.

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.

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.


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