Pakistan does not rule out, as the worst scenario, the possibility of a war starting with India, but promises to do everything it can to reduce tensions. This was said by Aziz Khan, Pakistan's Deputy Foreign Minister, in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia (Moscow), which will be published on Thursday. "We ask all our friends in the world, including Russia, to influence India and help towards peace talks with us," the diplomat said. Replying to a question about the use by the sides of nuclear weapons, Aziz Khan said that Pakistan is trying to avoid the use of even conventional weapons. "But we will take every measure in self-defence," he emphasised. According to him, "the international community has already seen that strategic arms in Pakistan are under strict control" and rumours should not be believed. The Pakistani diplomat thinks that the critical point of military tension between India and Pakistan is not yet over "and mainly because India has deployed its troops along the entire border ... and Pakistan has also been obliged to take measures in self-defence and deploy its own forces". "When such powerful forces confront each other, any incident may result in the situation exploding and taken out of control. Things to be done are to pull back troops on both sides and to sit down at the negotiating table," Aziz Khan said.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea