Pakistan says Indian planes violated its airspace

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani Air Force said two Indian aircraft violated Pakistan’s airspace on Tuesday, and that it scrambled two fighter jets to “challenge the intruders.”

The Indian Air Force said its planes appeared to have committed a “technical violation.”

Pakistan and India are nuclear-armed archrivals, and such airspace intrusions have happened on occasion in the past. The two countries have fought three major wars since their partition in 1947, but have taken steps to improve relations in recent years.

The Pakistani statement said Tuesday’s incident occurred around 10:40 a.m. along the eastern border with India. In their statement, the Pakistanis said that after they scrambled their jets, the Indian aircraft exited the airspace after having stayed inside it for about two minutes.

The statement from India said its aircraft were “on a routine flying training sortie” when they “seem to have flown close to the border and it appears to be a technical violation.”

The Indians said they had explained the situation to Pakistani authorities.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said it had conveyed a “serious concern” to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad “over the airspace violation by two Indian high speed (fighter) aircraft.”

The ministry also urged India to “respect all existing agreements” between the two countries.

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