But the risk of an all-out conflict rose dramatically on Tuesday when India launched air raids on what it said was a JeM training base.
On Wednesday morning, New Delhi and Islamabad were engaged in a battle of conflicting military claims.
At least four Pakistani civilians were killed late on Tuesday in the cross-border fire between the two nuclear-armed South Asian rivals.
Here are all the latest updates as of Wednesday, February 27:
‘There is no camp here, and no terrorists either’
Al Jazeera’s Asad Hashim reports from the site of Tuesday’s air raid by the Indian Air Force and found no sign of serious casualties or structural damage.
Life on the Line of Control
For villagers living on the defacto border between Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir, the threat of war is ever present.
Even when there is not all out conflict, shelling and clashes between Indian and Pakistani soldiers are not uncommon.
Journalist Rifat Fareed reports from the village of Silikot in the Indian-controlled side of the region, where she met residents whose lives have been scarred by conflict.
Pakistan and India, face to face
What is the Line of Control?
The Line of Control (LoC) is a 740km de-facto border separating Pakistani and Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Islamabad and New Delhi have fought two wars over Kashmir since independence, with the LoC being the focus of the hostilities.
The actual line marks the military front when the two South Asian states declared a ceasefire ending the First India-Pakistan War.
Iran offers to mediate between India and Pakistan
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke on Wednesday on phone with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and offered mediation between India and Pakistan, after rising tensions between the two countries.
Zarif, whose Monday’s resignation was rejected by Rouhani on Wednesday, urge both countries to practice restraint, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported. ISNA said Zarif is going to speak to his Indian counterpart as well, but did not specify any date.
Germany appeals for calm
Germany on Wednesday called on both Pakistan and India to de-escalate tensions after cross-border air raids set the region on edge.
“The federal government makes an urgent appeal for both sides to refrain from steps that could further escalate the conflict,” German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr told a news conference in Berlin, adding that India and Pakistan bear responsibility for regional stability.
Indian and Pakistani nuclear power
The Kashmir conflict, explained
In this explainer video, Al Jazeera looks at the history behind the conflict in Kashmir, and the factors that continue to fuel tensions.
India and Pakistan: Face to Face
This handy data set gives you some idea of just how powerful India and Pakistan are. From the number of fighter planes and tanks, to the types of missiles each has, we have you covered.
Flights to Pakistan and India cancelled
Airlines including Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad, have cancelled flights to Pakistan and some parts of India amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
Read the full report here.
— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) February 27, 2019
EU Foreign Affairs Representative urges calm
Federica Mogherini has urged the “utmost restraint” amid tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad.
India condemns ‘vulgar’ display of prisoner
Indian media outlet NDTV says government officials in New Delhi have condemned Pakistan’s publication of video and images showing a captured Indian pilot.
“India also strongly objects to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention,” the Indian government says in a statement.
The comments come as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meets military officers to discuss the capture of the pilot.
Pakistani PM Imran Khan urges talks to calm situation
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to negotiate an end to the current crisis.
In a televised address, he said: “History tells us that wars are full of miscalculation. My question is that given the weapons we have can we afford miscalculation.”
Pakistani military now says it has one Indian pilot
Pakistan Armed Forces spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor, has said the Pakistani army holds just one Indian pilot.
In an earlier comment, the military said it had two members of the Indian armed forces in custody. India says it has one pilot unaccounted for.
There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics. pic.twitter.com/8IQ5BPhLj2
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 27, 2019
UK “deeply concerned” about rising tension
UK Prime Minister Theresa May urged India and Pakistan to show restraint.
“The UK is deeply concerned about rising tensions between India and Pakistan and urgently calls for restraint on both sides to avoid further escalation,” May told Parliament.
“We are in regular contact with both countries, urging dialogue and diplomatic solutions to ensure regional stability.
“We are working closely with international partners including through the UN Security Council to deescalate tensions,” May says.
Emirates cancels flights to Pakistan
Dubai-based Emirates airline cancelled all flights to Pakistan and Afghanistan due to the closure of Pakistan’s airspace.
The news followed a similar decision by Bahrain’s national carrier, which suspended all flights to Pakistan earlier on Wednesday.
Turkey calls for calm between India and Pakistan
Turkey‘s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu voiced concern over the increasing tension between India and Pakistan.
“We are concerned over this tension. We want to call for common sense and calm between the parties. Steps that will escalate the tension should be avoided,” Cavusoglu said.
He pointed to the dispute over Kashmir as the source of the tension, telling reporters in the Turkish capital, Ankara, that it must be solved as soon as possible within the framework of international law.
Imran Khan urges “wisdom”, offers dialogue
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said his country is ready for dialogue with India and urged the need for “better sense to prevail”.
“I am addressing India. It is very important that we use wisdom,” Khan said in a televised address, emphasising that several countries have ended up at war in the past due to a lack of dialogue.
He stressed the need for the two nuclear-armed countries to remain cool-headed and to cooperate on security in the disputed Kashmir, saying “we will go and fight with you against terrorism”.
India says it shot down one Pakistani fighter jet and lost one of its own
India said it shot down one Pakistani fighter jet and lost one of its own to Pakistan.
Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian warplanes.
India’s Foreign Ministry admits one pilot is missing
India’s Foreign Ministry said one of their pilots is missing, after Pakistan claimed to have captured two Indian pilots.
Ravish Kumar, the ministry spokesperson, also stressed need to “ascertain the facts” amid competing narratives with Pakistan.
“In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” Kumar said.
Bahrain’s Gulf Air suspends all flights to and from Pakistan
Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air has suspended all flights to and from Pakistan with immediate effect due to the closure of Pakistani airspace, according to a statement from the company.
“On February 27, flights to/from Lahore, Multan and Islamabad are cancelled and all passengers will be transferred to next available flights when the airspace is open again,” the statement said.
India’s former ambassador to the US warns Pakistan
Retired diplomat Lalit Mansingh said a new red line with Pakistan has been drawn, adding that India’s policy of strategic restraint “is no longer”, according to the AP news agency.
India, Pakistan suspend flights, partially close airspaces
India and Pakistan confirmed the partial closure of their airspaces and suspension of commercial flights from several airports.
Pakistan indefinitely closed at least three airports in cities located near the Indian border, military spokesman Asif Ghafoor told reporters.
All international and domestic flights from major airports, including Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore, were also suspended for an indefinite period.
Meanwhile, India suspended flights from airports in the disputed region of Kashmir and the state of Punjab until further notice, officials said.
Pakistan does ‘not want to go towards war’: Military spokesman
Pakistan’s military spokesman said the country does “not want to go towards war” with India.
“We do not want escalation, we do not want to go towards war,” Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters at a press conference in Rawalpindi, a city in western Pakistan.
He adds that the two Indian pilots who have allegedly been captured are “being treated well”. One is currently in custody and the other in the hospital, he said.
Pakistan claims it has captured two Indian pilots
Pakistan’s military said two Indian pilots were captured after their planes were shot down over Pakistani airspace. India denied the claim, saying all its pilots are accounted for, according to local media.
Airports in several Indian cities shut, Lahore airport cancels and delays flights
Indian news reports said that airports in the Indian portion of Kashmir have been closed for civilian traffic shortly after an Indian air force jet crashed in the area.
The Press Trust of India news agency said these airports are located in Srinagar, Jammu and Leh. Indian authorities declined to comment.
There were reports that several airports in Pakistan are also closed, but Pakistan’s civil aviation authority said it cannot confirm that at this time. However, the website for the international airport in the eastern city of Lahore appeared to show a suspension of flights departing the city.
China reiterates call for restraint
|Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang calls for ‘lasting peace’ [File: Jason Lee/Reuters]|
China’s Foreign Ministry reiterated its call for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint.
“We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint, take initiatives that are conducive to promoting dialogue, meet halfway and make active efforts for lasting peace and stability in South Asia,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
Pakistani warplanes enter Indian airspace, forced back: Indian official
Indian air force jets intercepted at least three Pakistani warplanes that crossed into the Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday and force them to turn tail, an Indian official says, amid heightened tensions following an Indian air attack that targeted a rebel camp inside Pakistan a day earlier.
The Pakistani jets intruded over the Bimber Gali-Naushera sector at the Line of Control, a ceasefire line that serves as the de facto border in the disputed Kashmir region, the official, who is based in the area, said.
The main airport in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, has been shut down for three hours, police in the city said.
India says it doesn’t want ‘escalation’
New Delhi is seeking to ease tensions with Islamabad, as the US urges the nuclear-armed neighbours to “exercise restraint”.
India promised to act, sending warplanes into Pakistani airspace and striking what it says was a camp of JeM, the group that claimed the February 14 Kashmir bombing.
“The limited objective of that pre-emptive strike was to act decisively against the terrorist infrastructure of Jaish-e-Mohammed in order to pre-empt another terror attack in India,” Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says during talks in Beijing with her counterparts from China and Russia.
“India does not wish to see further escalation of this situation. India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint.”