Pakistan shoots down two Indian MiGs
"One pilot killed, another taken into custody as PoW; third plane crashes due to technical fault; PAF carrying out combat air patrolling missions, says Maj Gen Anees Bajwa " Pakistan shot down two Indian MiGs -- MiG-21 and MiG-27 -- that intruded into Pakistan's air space along the Line of Control (LoC) on May 27, 1999. "We have shot down both the intruding Indian jets with ground fire and their wreckage is scattering over an area of 6 to 7 km inside Azad Jammu and Kashmir," announced Vice Chief of General Staff Major General Anees Bajwa.

Flight Lieutenant Nachi Keta (No 1135)The pilot of MiG-21, Squadron Leader Ujha of 17th Indian Air Force Squadron was killed, while that of MiG-27, Flight Lieutenant Nachi Keta (No 1135) of 9th Squadron, X-Srinagar, ejected and was taken into custody as Prisoner of War (PoW), he said. Maj Gen Bajwa, the first 2-star general from Pakistan Army who gave a special briefing to foreign and local journalists here at the PID Auditorium along with Information Minister Mushahid Hussain, Foreign Office spokesman Tariq Altaf and DG ISPR Brig Rashid Qureshi, announced that the air defence of Pakistan Army targeted the intruding Indian jets at 11:15 am and 11:35 am on the second day of escalated tension on the Line of Control.

He said unconfirmed reports say that another Indian jet had crashed in the Indian territory while returning to Srinagar, though this plane was not hit by a ground fire of Pakistan's air defence command. Without divulging details relating to the weapon used to shoot down the Russian-made Indian fighters flying at a low altitude, Bajwa said: "The Pakistan Armed Forces are fully ready to defend the territorial integrity of the motherland at any and every cost."

Speaking on behalf of the three forces and denying use of Pakistan Air Force combat aircraft to shoot down the Indian jets, Maj Gen Bajwa, deputy to the Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Muhammad Aziz, said: "The PAF Shaheens (F-16 Falcons) are ready at different air bases and are carrying out combat air patrolling (CAP) missions to defend its skies."

Elaborating the shooting down of Indian MiGs with the help of map showing the Line of Control and other areas, Maj Gen Bajwa said that the intruding jets were shot down on the River Indus in Kargil sector. He described Indian air campaign in Kargil as a 'new element' despite the fact that India had moved in additional five brigades and thousands of other troops drawn from different units to flush out the Kashmiri Mujahideen, struggling to win freedom from India. "According to Indian reports, around 100 to 250 Indian troops have been killed since May 6 when India escalated tension by trying to capture some Pakistani posts in Siachen area. There were three Shaheeds (martyrs) and one injured on the Pakistani side since early this month," said Bajwa.

He said it would be difficult to determine the Indian intentions of going for escalation and raise up the military ante, but there seemed five broad-based reasons for this escalation: Firstly, the political vacuum in India; secondly, electioneering season being used to raise the ante; thirdly, Indians' more sinister designs; fourthly, an attempt to violate the LoC; and lastly, since the Indian line of communication at Drass-Kargil sectors is vulnerable, she may have a desire to capture more land to improve the situation in her favour. He questioned the Indian move to bring in additional 15,000 troops and thousands of loose troops from different units to deal with a few hundred Mujahideen. "In fact, India started building up once it began to accuse Pakistan of capturing its area in September last year," he added.

He said so much so pictures are available that the body of an Indian trooper -- who was returned by Pakistan -- was given full honour who tried to capture Pakistani post in Shyaok sector. The LoC violations, he said, had started when India sent reconnaissance aircraft, which were not serious in its nature, but since May 6 India started building up and moved in a new element of air force at the LoC.

"Our problem is that we do not target civilians as on both sides there is Muslim population. But the Indians often target civilians and now they are using the Muslim population in occupied Kashmir as human shield and not allowing it to move to other areas," said Bajwa.

"Serious violation of Pakistan's air space took place on May 26 when Indian planes dropped bombs on our positions, and finally on May 27 their two jets were shot down by the air defence system of Pakistan Army," he said.

He narrated the track record of Indian violations across the LoC and said for the first time in 1972 when the LoC was established, India violated it, in 1984 the Indian Army walked into the vacant Siachen area, in 1988 it took some posts by violating the LoC, and in 1994 the Neelum Valley road was virtually closed till to date.

He said each time the Pakistan Army's Directors General Military Operations raised the question of violations with their Indian counterparts, no satisfactory answer was given. About the status of the captured Indian pilot, Bajwa said though both the countries had not declared war against each other, the pilot was taken into custody on account of act of war. "He will be a PoW and will be given treatment under regulations governing these matters," he added. Bajwa said the body of the other Indian pilot would be handed over to the Indian Army according to regulations governing such issues.(News).