As India and Pakistan Issue Veiled Nuclear Threats, New Ceasefire Urged

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Tension is continuing to escalate between the nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan. Pakistan is claiming it has shot down two Indian military jets and captured a pair of Indian jet pilots. Meanwhile, India says it has foiled an attempt by Pakistan to bomb military installations inside of India. This comes a day after India carried out airstrikes inside Pakistan for the first time since 1971. India alleges it was targeting a camp of the militant separatist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which claimed responsibility for a recent attack in the Indian-administered region of Kashmir that killed more than 40 Indian soldiers. India accused Pakistan of being directly involved in plotting the February 14th bombing; Pakistan, however, denies the claim.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, there are reports that Pakistani and Indian ground forces have exchanged gunfire in more than a dozen locations. India has also reportedly conducted four ground raids on Kashmiri separatist leaders. Earlier today, Pakistan announced it was shutting down its airspace and grounding all civilian planes. Pakistani Army spokesman Asif Ghafoor announced the news.

ASIF GHAFOOR: [translated] The airspace is shut due to the current situation. I would say that Pakistan’s response is not a retaliation, but it is a demonstration of our capability, capacity and will, staying within the domain of responsibility, as a state which has the potential. We do not want to escalate the situation.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a crowd of soldiers, following India’s airstrikes inside Pakistan.

PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI: [translated] I want to assure you, our country is in safe hands. I will not let the country bow. I take an oath upon the soil that I won’t let this country be erased.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The United States, Russia, China and the European Union have urged the nuclear rivals to show restraint. India and Pakistan are believed to have around a hundred nuclear…

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