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Senior IAF Officer ‘Retires’ After Pakistan Shoots Down Indian Jets

A senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officer Air Marshal C Harikumar ‘retired’ after two of the jets from the neighbouring country were shot down for intruding into Pakistan’s airspace.

According to Indian media reports, the officer was ‘removed’ by the government and will be replaced by Eastern Air Command chief Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar. Later, a statement issued by the authorities said that the officer has ‘retired’.

“Air Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar PVSM AVSM VM VSM ADC, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command Indian Air Force retired on 28 February 2019 after an illustrious career spanning over 39 yrs,” the defence minister said in an official statement.

The ‘retirement’ comes a day after two of IAF jets were shot down by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for intruding into the country’s airbase. Pakistan also arrested Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who will be released on Friday.

On Tuesday, Indian jets violated the Line of Control (LOC) and entered Pakistan’s airspace dropping payload in Balakot during a hasty escape. Indian media claimed that 350 ‘terrorists’ were killed in their ‘operation’. Later, it was revealed that a resident of Jabba area received minor injuries.

Pakistan Reiterates Its Stand For Peace

After the arrest of the Indian pilot, Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation and said that war was not the solution to the crisis. He offered peace talks again to India, stressing that the Kashmir issue could only be resolved via dialogue.

Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) also said that Pakistan wants peace and stability in the region but will go to any lengths to safeguard the sovereignty of the country.

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