PAFs F-16 was shot down, asserts IAF; Refutes US media reports

US count exposes India's claim of shooting down Pakistani F-16 Foreign Policy

Imran Khan had accused the BJP of "whipping up war hysteria" and making a "false claim" of downing an F-16 aircraft. India said it, too, had shot down a Pakistani aircraft and the air force displayed pieces of a missile that it said had been fired by a Pakistani F-16 before it went down. The F-16 is officially called the fighting falcon.

Pakistan denied at the time that this was the case and claimed to have shot down two Indian warplanes and captured one of their pilots.

"They were intercepted by IAF's Su30-MKI, Mirage 2000 and Mig 21 Bison fighters guided by ground radars and AWACS". The IAF thwarted all attempts of the PAF to attack any target.

Sources said electronic signals from the F-16 aircraft which was engaged by a Mig 21 Bison ended abruptly, confirming that it crashed after being hit.

An interception received on February 27 at 1205 hours said: "Ye enemy ka tabah hua hai".

The difference between the enemy pilot and the other one is noteworthy here.

"Doosra ek zakhmi hai woh military hospital mein hai (the other one is injured and is in the military hospital)", it said.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has claimed that he has "reliable intelligence that India is planning a new attack on Pakistan" which may take place between 16 and 20 April. The 2 sightings were at places separated by at least 8-10 km.

As if it wasn't enough, the DG ISPR released a photograph showing the intact seekers of all four missiles the MiG-21 Bison jet the PAF shot down had been armed with. Of the 24 PAF aircraft that came in, 11 were identified as F-16s based on their electronic signature. "Electronic signatures gathered by us indicate PAF aircraft was an F-16", ANI quoted IAF as saying today. The personnel were invited by Pakistan to count its F-16 planes after the incident.

IAF said the Pakistani military communication and the initial statements also suggest that they had lost one aircraft which they claimed to be that of IAF.

The Indian Air Force however said it had proof of shooting down the F16.

Foreign Policy said in a report published on Thursday two us defence officials with direct knowledge of the matter said USA personnel had done a count of Pakistan's F-16s and found none missing. "But the count, conducted by USA authorities on the ground in Pakistan, sheds doubt on New Delhi's version of events, suggesting that Indian authorities may have misled the worldwide community about what happened that day", the Foreign Policy report says.

"Generally in such agreements, the USA requires the receiving country to allow U.S. officials to inspect the equipment regularly to ensure it is accounted for and protected", said the report. Pakistan, for instance, is prohibited from flying F-16s out of the country without notifying the U.S. in advance.

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