The Pakistani military has said that it stands vindicated after a count of its F-16 fighter jets by US defence officials confirmed that none of the aircraft is missing.
In an exclusive report, the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine quoted unnamed US defence officials as saying that their physical count found that all F-16 jets in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fleet are accounted for.
The confirmation by US defence officials is a huge embarrassment for India which claims that its air force had shot down a PAF F-16 jet in the February 29 air battle over Kashmir. Islamabad denies the claim.
The Pakistani military’s chief spokesperson said that Pakistan stands vindicated after the FP report. He also urged India to introspect over the human rights violations by its forces in the occupied valley.
US debunks Indian claims of shooting down PAF F-16
“Allah is praised, truth always prevails. Time for India to speak the truth about false claims & actual losses on their side, including the second aircraft shot down by Pakistan. India needs introspection especially over atrocities in IoK. The region needs peace, progress & prosperity,” he wrote on the microblogging site Twitter.
Allah be praised, truth always prevails. Time for India to speak truth about false claims & actual losses on their side including the second aircraft shot down by Pakistan. India needs introspection especially over atrocities in IOK. Region needs peace, progress & prosperity. https://t.co/5eCsQDSDYD— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) April 5, 2019
The US endorsement of Pakistan’s version will add insult to injury as the earlier Indian claim of decimating the “largest terrorist training camp” in the Balakot area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has already fallen flat.
Pakistani warplanes shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets – including a Russian-made MiG 21 – and arrested one of the pilots in the battle that took place a day after Indian aircraft brazenly violated Pakistan’s airspace and dropped a payload on a densely forested mountain in Balakot.
At the time New Delhi boasted that the ‘air strike’ had targeted the “largest training camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant group” causing “a large number of casualties”. Pakistani and international media and experts have already debunked the Indian claim as no infrastructure was damaged nor any casualty was caused in the incident.