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According to the statement, the strikes were carried out with the sole goal being "to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the country said on Wednesday.

"Indian media says a Pakistani F-16 was downed - but Pakistan has not used any F-16s so far, nor has any been shot down", Ghafoor said. In the wake of the strikes, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an emergency meeting with top security officials. "So it's an extremely unsafe situation".

Khan urged the United States to play a greater role in de-escalating the crisis. "We are ascertaining the facts", Raveesh Kumar told reporters. "There is perhaps no other country better placed than the United States to be able to play some role", he added, and also called on the worldwide community to help address the tensions. This was in contrast to India's non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Balakot on 26 February 2019.

"Army, government and people of Pakistan have always conveyed a message of peace". India long has accused Pakistan of cultivating such militant groups to attack it.

Air Canada is operating a Toronto-Mumbai flight later Wednesday that uses a different route, said Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for the carrier.

The Pakistani civil and military officials have rejected the claim.

Pakistan airspace is closed. "The press in India seems extremely jubilant that India undertook the attack at all", Tellis said.

While flight bans are typical in times of escalating conflict - in Syria in 2015, and across the USA after the 9/11 terror attacks, for example - "this is a game-changer to the historical policy of restraint by India", Bokhari said.

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Ghafoor, the Pakistani military spokesperson, said the strikes were aimed at "avoiding human loss and collateral damage". "There's a careful balancing act here".

PM Imran Khan made a fresh call for talks in a televised address to the nation hours after Pakistani air force shot down two Indian warplanes after they crossed the Line of Control in disputed Kashmir region.

The first video clip, which started circulating on Twitter after being shared by handles such as Radio Pakistan as evidence of the Pakistani government's claim to have captured an Indian pilot, prompted a cry for the soldier's safe return home.

More than a thousand passengers were affected after Air Canada partially suspended service to India due to the closure of Pakistani airspace as tensions mount between the two nuclear powers. "Pakistan claims he is in their custody". The Srinagar airport, which has been shut along with two other airports for civilian flights in the region, is also an air force station.

We are a peaceful country and do not want to go to war. "That is why we undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight".

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also spoke to his Pakistani counterpart, Pakistani Chief of Defense Zubair Mahmood Hayat, on Tuesday.

Pakistan's airstrikes come after India launched an airstrike on what it said was a militant training base.

"I also encouraged both ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity", he said. Varthaman senior served in the 1999 Kargil war too.