What's going on in Kashmir?

What's going on in Kashmir?

The international community, including Moscow, is concerned over the tensions in relations between India and Pakistan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed hope for the de-escalation of the situation in relations between India and Pakistan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released after a meeting between the Russian top diplomat and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in China’s Wuzhen on the sidelines of the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China.

"The Russian side expressed hope for the de-escalation of the situation between India and Pakistan," the ministry stressed.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is keeping an eye on the situation. "We are highly concerned about recent developments and are keeping an eye on the situation. We call on the parties to exercise restraint," TASS cited Peskov as saying.

Tensions along the Line of Control, which separates the two countries' armed forces in Kashmir, flared on February 14, when an attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir killed 45. The Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which aims at separating Kashmir from India and bringing it under Pakistan’s control, claimed responsibility for the attack.

New Delhi accused Islamabad of supporting terrorists who allegedly carry out raids into India’s territory from Pakistan-based camps. In addition, India claimed to have evidence proving that the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies could be behind the attack. Pakistan rejected these accusations.

On February 26, India carried out an air strike on this group’s camp in the part of Kashmir that is controlled by Pakistan. Today, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) responded with strikes on military facilities in Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi and Islamabad also stated that they downed each other’s planes during the air fight.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the Pakistan armed forces, said this morning that Pakistan armed forces shotdown two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. According to him, one Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area. 

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar acknowledged the loss of a jet and its pilot. He also said that an Indian plane had shot down a Pakistani fighter jet and Indian ground forces observed it falling on the Pakistani side of the LoC.