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Press Release on Pakistan's claim for compensation

August 31, 1999
New Delhi

Pakistan's claim for compensation for the shooting down of the Pakistan Navy's military combat-cum-surveillance aircraft on August 10, 1999 is totally untenable and absurd. The facts of this matter are clear and well known. The Pakistani military aircraft was on a hostile military mission and was involved in espionage activity. It had brazenly violated Indian air-space, as well as the 1991 agreement between India and Pakistan on prevention of air-space violations, as well as internationally accepted rules of engagement in such situations.

In keeping with these rules of engagement, intercepting Indian aircraft had conveyed clear signal to the intruding Pakistani military aircraft asking it to correct its course and land. The intruder disregarded all these signals and warnings. Subsequent actions taken by the Indian Air Force were in keeping with these internationally accepted as well as standard operating procedures. The Pakistani military aircraft was well within Indian air-space when it was shot down.

Pakistan is fully responsible for the outcome and the consequence of its actions in contravention of the norms of conduct of bilateral relations as well as a specific agreement and rules of engagement pertaining to air-space violations.

Pakistan's claims, which have already been rejected by the Acting High Commissioner for India in Islamabad, are meant only for propaganda purposes. An internationally isolated Pakistan is desperately trying to divert attention from its irresponsible conduct, best illustrated by the failure of its armed intrusion and aggression in Kargil, and subsequently by its willful violation of Indian air-space.