India rubbishes Pakistani allegations of air space violation (Second Lead, Changing dateline)

December 14th, 2008 - 10:27 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Islamabad, Dec 14 (IANS) Indian airforce officials Sunday morning rubbished reports that its fighter jets had violated Pakistan’s air space and said they had received no complaint from the Pakistani side.Responding to Pakistani allegations that Indian fighter jets had violated their airspace late Saturday night by entering two places - Pakistani Kashmir and Lahore sectors - and were forced to turn back, a senior Indian Air Force (IAF) official in the Western Air Command told IANS: “There is no truth in the allegations, it is all rubbish.”

The official said, “We haven’t even received any complaint from the Pakistani air force.”

Dawn News of Pakistan quoted Pakistan Air Force Air Commodore Humyun Viqar as saying, “Both the Indian aircraft entered into Pakistan’s airspace between two to four nautical miles at two different sectors.” He said the Pakistani jets responded, forcing the Indian aircraft to turn back.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman told Dawn News that the Indian leadership had been contacted, and the incident was described as “inadvertent”, and that the Pakistan air-force and army had been placed on alert but “did not wish to escalate the situation” any further.

It quoted Reuters as saying that an Indian Defence Ministry spokesman when contacted in New Delhi said he had no information on the reported incursion.

Dawn also reported that people travelling between Lahore and Rawalpindi said that they had seen heavy movement of the Pakistan army on the way heading towards the border. “Long convoys of military trucks were heading towards Lahore from Jehlum,” a motorist Jawad Khan told Dawn.

The movement of army towards the border area is a sign that tension between the two nuclear rivals, already heightened following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, is likely to increase in the days to come, Dawn said.

Meanwhile, a state run Pakistani TV channel reported that a loud blast was heard in the Arabian Sea between Badin and Jati cities Saturday night.

However, further details about the blast were not received. The cause and exact location of the blast is being ascertained.

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