New Delhi: The official spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs Raveesh Kumar and Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor on Wednesday confirmed that India had lost a MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft during an air-to-air engagement with Pakistan Air Force jets following the non-military, pre-emptive air strikes in Balakot. 

The MEA also added that though one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft (F-16 fighter jet) was shot down, the pilot of the MiG-21 was “missing in action”.  

“One Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by Indian Air Force. In this engagement, we have lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan claims he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” said Kumar while addressing the media at Delhi. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan has claimed that the pilot is in their custody. However, the MEA said that they are yet to ascertain the facts. 

Pakistan had used its Air Force to target military installations in India in response to Indian counter-terrorism operations but their attempts were foiled successfully by India. 

The MEA also said, "Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan's attempts were foiled successfully”

The tension between the two neighbours is rising since the Pulwama attack on February 14, when a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed an SUV car with 350 kg of explosives into a security convoy of 78 vehicles carrying over 2,500 personnel, killing at least 40 jawans.

Most of them were returning to duty after spending their holidays in their respective destinations. 

The attack jolted the nation and is being considered the worst terror attack since the Uri attack in 2016.