WASHINGTON DC: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is focused on de-escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and urged them both to avoid further military action, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, without saying if he had spoken with his counterparts from either nation.
In a statement, the Pentagon said Shanahan had spoken with senior US military officials about the situation. “Acting Secretary Shanahan’s focus is on de-escalating tensions and urging both of the nations to avoid further military action,” the statement added.
Tensions escalated dramatically between Pakistan and India on February 14 when a young man – a native of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) – rammed an explosives-laden car into an Indian military convoy, killing 44 soldiers.
The Jaish-e-Mohammad reportedly claimed the attack, but India was quick to hurl unsubstantiated allegations at Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan offered every possible help in investigation, but India turned down the offer and instead whipped up war hysteria.
Pakistan on Wednesday announced it had shot down two Indian fighter jets that attempted to violate its airspace and captured an Indian pilot.
The military’s media wing later released a video of the pilot, who introduced himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan bearing service number 27981.
The development came a day after the country’s civil and military leadership declared the violation of airspace by Indian fighter jets “uncalled for aggression” and decided that the country would respond at a “time and place of its choosing”.
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