Pooch (J&K): A Pakistani chopper, carrying Pakistan-occupied Kashmir leader Raja Farooq Haider Khan and other ministers, violated Indian airspace along the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday in Jammu and Kashmir‘s Poonch sector and was fired upon by the Indian Army using small arms. Roaming around in the airspace, the Pakistan chopper, which is said to be a private aircraft, returned undamaged about five minute later.
Reacting to the airspace violation and firing from the Indian side, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s Tourism Minister Mushtaq Minhas, who was onboard the chopper, told The Indian Express that they didn’t know they had breached the airspace agreement not did they know that they were being fired at. He said they were informed about the firing when the team landed at their destination. Earlier reports said the helicopter belonged to the Pakistan Army.
He further said that the pilot had not received any message from the ATC probably because it was not a military but a private aircraft. “But that was possibly because it was not a government or military helicopter. This was privately arranged…We had to go to a place called Samahni for a condolence visit. It’s a seven-hour journey by road, so we decided that it would be best to go by helicopter…,” he said.
The Indian officials said that the Pakistani chopper, flying very high, committed the violation at 12.10 PM. Indian troops fired at the helicopter with small arms, he said. The helicopter withdrew into Pakistani territory after five minutes, the spokesman said. He added that with the violation, Pakistan breached the airspace agreement between India and Pakistan which states that no chopper can come within one kilometre of the LoC and no fixed-wing aircraft within 10.
The PoK Tourism Minister Minhas was accompanied by PoK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, the PM’s personal security guard, and Education Minister Ifthikar Gilani. Minhas also denied the reports that it was Pakistani military’s attempt to assassinate PoK PM and since former jailed PM Nawaz Sharif‘s party runs the PoK government.