Pakistan’s army said it had shot down a small Indian surveillance drone in Kashmir, as tensions rose over continued cross-border shelling in the disputed territory.
According to ISPR, the quadcopter “intruded 600 metres into Pakistan’s territory to conduct surveillance”. “This blatant act was aggressively responded to by Pakistan Army troops shooting down [the] Indian quadcopter.”
“Such unwarranted acts by Indian Army are clear violation of established norms, existing Air Agreement between two countries and reflect Indian army’s consistent disregard to Ceasefire Understanding of 2003,” the ISPR said.
According to military sources, the Indian military uses quadcopters for aerial photography of Pakistani posts along the LoC as part of its intelligence-gathering operations and target selection before carrying out cross-LoC shelling.
Last year on March 16, the Pakistan Army shot down a “spying quadcopter” in the Rakhchikri sector along the LoC.
Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours nosedived in February last year, with India launching an air strike inside Pakistan after accusing its neighbour of harbouring a group that staged a suicide bomb attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir.
Pakistan launched its own raid the next day and later shot down an Indian fighter jet and captured its pilot, taking the arch-rivals to the brink of war.
The sky-high animosity between the two countries deescalated after Pakistan returned the downed pilot to India.
Tensions also recently spiked when New Delhi revoked the partial autonomy of Indian Kashmir in August.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since independence in 1947, and has been the spark of two wars and numerous flare-ups between the two foes.