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Press Release about Pakistan filing a case with the ICJ

New Delhi
September 22, 1999

In response to a question, the official spokesman said that Government have seen press reports about Pakistan filing a case with the International Court of Justice seeking compensation for the shooting down of its military combat-cum-surveillance Atlantique aircraft, which had intruded into Indian air space on August 10, 1999.

The spokesman reiterated that the Pakistani military aircraft was on a hostile military mission and was engaged in espionage activity. It had committed a brazen violation of Indian air space. It had also violated the 1991 agreement between India and Pakistan on prevention of airspace violations as well as internationally accepted rules of engagement in such situations.

The Spokesman further reiterated that in keeping with these internationally accepted rules of engagement, intercepting Indian aircraft had conveyed a clear signal to the intruding Pakistani military aircraft asking it to correct its course and land. The Pakistani intruding aircraft had, however, disregarded all these warnings and signals. The actions taken subsequently by the Indian air force were in keeping with the internationally accepted as well as standard operating procedures. The Pakistani military aircraft was well within Indian air space when it was shot down.

The Spokesman said that Pakistan's move to raise this issue at the International Court of Justice is entirely untenable and India will deal with it as appropriate. It is a desperate propaganda gimmick timed to coincide with the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York. There is no doubt that the international community will see through Pakistan's hostile and propagandist motivations in moving the ICJ to this issue.