The Indian Air Force (IAF) has released radar images which confirm the fact that Abhinandan Varthaman, flying MIG21 Bison, has shot down a Pakistani F-16 Jet during an aerial combat on February 27, 2019.
In a media briefing at Defence Ministry, IAF presented several slides of graphic captures from Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). For the records, Pakistan has always denied using F-16 in the combat.
The Air Vice Marshal – RG Kapoor said in a statement, “The IAF has irrefutable evidence of not only the fact that F-16 was used by Pakistan Air Force on February 27, but also that an IAF Mig 21 Bison shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16. The F-16 crashed and fell across the LoC in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The IAF lost one MiG21 in the aerial engagement and Abhinandan ejected safely but his parachute drifted into Pakistan Occupied J and K.”
He further said that IAF has more credible information and evidence that verify the fact that Pakistan had deployed F – 16, but due to security and confidentiality concerns, it is restricting the information being shared in public domain.
The media briefing was organised in response to a report published in the U.S. Magazine – Foreign Policy, which
said that no Pakistani F-16 Jet was shot down in Nowshera sector of Jammu & Kashmir on February 27, 2019.
The report stated that 2 Senior Officers of U.S. Defence who said that American personnel had counted the Islamabad’s F-16s and found none of the them missing.
Earlier, the IAF had also displayed pieces of an AMRAAM missile, fired by a Pakistani F-16, as an evidence to prove that Pakistan deployed the U.S. manufactured F – 16 Jet.
What Pakistan says
However, according to Pakistan’s daily, Dawn, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Chief of Pakistan – Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor has once again denied the evidences produced by IAF.
In response to IAF’s media briefing, he tweeted, “Repetitions don’t make truth of a lie. Despite claiming possession of evidence on shooting F16, IAF still short of presenting it. Don’t overlook Pakistan’s silence for not drum beating losses on Indian side. Fact is that PAF shot down two IAF jets, wreckage seen on ground by all.”
Pakistan defends itself by linking IAF claims to Elections?
Pakistan has also said that Prime Minister of India – Narendra Modi is trying to win the upcoming General elections by war hysteria and false claims of shooting down a Pakistani jet. The General Elections are being held in India from April 11, 2019.
For the records, Pakistan has also denied that fact that IAF has destroyed training camps of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in the Balakot region killing more than 250 terrorists.