Conflict Politics

How an Israeli fighter Pilot Almost Sparked a Major Conflict Between Two Nuclear Powers and How President Trump Swiftly Defused the Situation

Islamabad/Arshad Mehmood

Former Pakistani ambassador and well-known defense analyst   Zafar Hilali claimed that Pakistan has captured an Israeli Pilot, who was flying an Indian Fighter jet  SU-30, shot down by PAF jet during Indo-Pak recent escalation. He was discussing the matter during a Tv show on Chanel 92.

The news about the capturing of Israeli pilot in Pakistan has been circulating since last few days. Apparently, these speculations emerged on 28th  February, when Hananya Natfali, an Israeli social media activist shared a group photo of Israeli air force pilots with the Indian fighter pilots.

Islamabad based  Sources revealed to The Herald Report that the reason why it was kept secret because as the arrest of Israeli Pilot was conveyed to the Israeli authorities, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately contacted President Trump to resolve the volatile situation.

According to these sources, President Trump through secret diplomatic channels immediately approached PM Imran Khan and requested him to de-escalate the situation.

To avoid global criticism, naturally, India and Israel could not acknowledge this bitter reality that Indian jet  SU-30 was flown by Israeli pilot.

Even It is not possible for India to say that another pilot is in Pakistan’s custody. On the other hand, Israel could not accept that its pilot had flown to attack Pakistan.

Former ambassador Zafar Hilali also revealed that Israeli PM Netanyahu has requested President Trump to play a major role for the release of Israeli Pilot.

It is aforementioned that On the morning of 27th  February, Pakistan Air force had shot down two Indian aircraft, one was a MIG -21 whose pilot was captured and later released to India.

However, the second destroyed jet SU-30 which was allegedly flown by Israeli Pilot, Its wreckage fell on the Indian side of Kashmir, while the ejected pilot landed on Pakistani soil where he was captured by Pakistani troops.

Immediate after the incident, Major General  Asif  Ghafoor, DG Armed Forces  Media Wing held an urgent press briefing and told that Pakistani forces had captured two Indian pilots, and one of them is transferred to the military hospital, while another pilot Wing/Comdr Abhi Nandhan was kept in the Army Unit amid tightened security.

Later Major General Asif tweeted that only one Indian pilot is in the custody of Pakistan. Since then nowhere about of the other pilot which was admitted in Military Hospital has been disclosed.

On the terms of Anonymity, Well placed reliable Intelligence sources also claimed that on 27th  February, India had planned major missile attacks on Pakistani soils with the tactical support of Israeli military experts. Pakistan Intelligence agencies thwarted the plan and a strong message was conveyed to the Indian authorities that India will face dire consequences if it would attack Pakistan.

Prominent Defense and Security  Analyst Air Marshall (Retd) Shahid Latif also tweeted that Israel and India had the patronage of a superpower due to which they jointly planned an attack on Pakistan. Pakistani authorities learned about it on time and had warned India of the consequences.

Col (R) Zaid Hamid a veteran of Soviet-Afghan war and National Security Commentator also confirmed that Israelis officials were taking the active part in recent escalation.

Zaid  Hamid also claimed that there is a reason why the US immediately deployed Thad anti-ballistic missile system in Israel.

Pakistan leading English Daily Dawn also reported that India with the backing of Israel and at the peak of its standoff with Pakistan had last week planned a “dangerous attack” to be executed from its Rajasthan airbase, a highly placed government source revealed on Monday.

Timely intelligence and backdoor messaging made it clear to India that a befitting response would be given if it were to go ahead with the planned attack, one which would possibly take the countries to a “point of no return”.

Interestingly, In 1974, a PAF fighter pilot Abdul Sattar Alvi shot down the Israeli Air Force Mirage during the Golan heights War in Syria. He was serving as a military advisor in the Syrian Air Force during the Arab-Israel war in 1973.

Earlier in August 2016, The Israel prominent daily Jeruselum Post “Jpost” reported that Israel, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates  F-16s had participated in joint military exercises as part of the US Air Force’s elite Red Flag drill at Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada desert.

Red Flag drill is considered as the US military’s “premier air-to-air combat training exercise, in which participating countries simulate dog fights to improve both their aviation skills and their military’s international connections.

The Israeli military did not officially comment on the presence of Pakistani and United Arab Emirates pilots at the Red Flag exercise

The Aviationist website reported sightings of Pakistani jets on their way to the exercise. Plans to include Pakistan and the UAE were first announced by the US Air Force in 2015, Jpost further quoted.

Nevertheless, Israel and Pakistan have no diplomatic relations, despite other Muslim-majority countries have forged ties with the Jewish state, including Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey in the Middle East while Azerbaijan, among others, in central Asia.

Dr. Nimrod Goren, Director of The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies”Mitvim“, while talking to the scribe briefly told that Relations with Pakistan are usually not high on the agenda in Israel, and I don’t think the average citizen will know much about the issue.

Nevertheless, Israel aspires for better relations with regional countries, and I’m sure that a move for better ties with Pakistan will be welcome. There have been reports about Israel and Pakistan taking part in a joint military drill in 2016, and there was a recent statement by Netanyahu that Israel doesn’t see Pakistan as its enemy, Dr. Nimrod said.

There may be new sensitivities involved, now that Israel and India are moving closer to each other, Dr. Nimrod further added.

Anyhow The Pakistani or Israeli officials have not commented yet, about the current developing situation about the holding of Israeli pilot with the Pakistani forces.

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