India, Pakistan Air Forces on High Alert

India, Pakistan Air Forces on High Alert

Jason Ditz

December 10, 2008

Gilani Hits Out at “Jingoistic” India as Tensions Worsen

Pakistani F-16s were seen flying over the capital of Islamabad today as the air forces of both Pakistan and neighboring India were reportedly placed on high alert. The navies of both nations are also aggressively patrolling in the Arabian Sea.

Indian media reported earlier that the leaves of all key personnel near Pakistan have been canceled and the level of readiness raised in response to rumors of an upcoming air attack. A spokesman for the Pakistani Air Force has said they are also on alert in the event of “aggression” from India.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani insists that his nation is doing everything it can to defuse tensions diplomatically, saying his “peace-loving nation” will not be provoked by its long-time rival’s “jingoistic attitude.”

Relations between India and Pakistan had been on the mend until last month’s massive terrorist attack in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai. Since then tensions have spiraled to their worst level since 2002 amid reports from Mumbai police that all of the attackers came from Pakistan.

The Pakistani government has received international praise for its recent arrests of suspects in the Mumbai attacks, seen as an effort to silence concern about the nation’s alleged role in one of the worst terrorist attacks in Indian history. One anonymous Indian official dismissed the arrests as “an eyewash,” insisting there was “no modicum of doubt” about the complicity of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in the attack.