Pakistan closes airspace, diverts all flights until further notice

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The Pakistan air force shot down two Indian warplanes after they crossed over the Kashmir border, capturing one pilot, a military spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry issued a statement earlier in the day, saying that the "Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace".

The video was released few minutes after Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the director general (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), concluded his press conference, confirming the arrest of two Indian Air Force pilots.

India has shut airports at Pathankot, Leh, Srinagar and Jammu, the official said.

"If India is striking at so-called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan", the statement said.

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Tensions have been elevated since a suicide auto bombing by Pakistan-based militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police on February 14, but the risk of conflict rose dramatically after India's air strike on Tuesday.

The US, along with China, Britain, Germany and the European Union, have called for cooler heads to prevail.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Supreme Court earlier ordered that all Indian programs be taken off the airwaves, even though Bollywood productions continue to be a hit in Pakistan.

"I also encouraged both ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity", he said. By Wednesday evening, the ministry acknowledged the pilot was in Pakistan's custody and demanded "his immediate and safe return".

A Pakistani military spokesman said that one of the downed Indian planes had fallen in Pakistani-held Kashmir, while the other came down on the Indian side of the heavily militarised de facto border dividing the territory.

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As per to the reports, when Pakistan Air Force's F-16 fighter jets attempted to violate the Indian airspace, it was a Sukhoi Su-30 aircraft that chased it away.

While India has consistently accused its neighbour of supporting extremist groups, Pakistan has equally vehemently denied any role in attacks in India and its only Muslim-majority state, Kashmir.

"I also encouraged both ministers to prioritize direct communication and avoid further military activity", said the US top diplomat.

India said Pakistan had attempted to target military installations today, in response New Delhi's attack on Tuesday on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp.

In that aerial engagement one PAF aircraft was shot down by a MiG-21 Bison of IAF and the Pakistani plane was seen falling from the sky on the Pakistani side, Kumar said.

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India and Pakistan have fought three major wars since partition and independence in 1947.

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