Pakistan, in the last few days has been trying hard to deny the use of F-16s for the air attacks and that one of them was shot down as it had availed the fighters from the US since the mid- 1980s onwards under the disguised purpose of the global fight against terrorism.
The US laws restricts the use of fighters in an “offensive role” against a country.
Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said IAF radars had picked up “electronic signatures” of the F-16s that formed part of the “large package” of Pakistani aircraft that tried to bomb Indian military installations. Moreover, parts of an AIM-120C advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM), which is only carried by F-16s in Pakistan’s combat fleet, was recovered east of Rajouri within Indian territory.
There were also reports that the Pakistani pilot of the F-16 which India said was shot down was assaulted by locals in PoK who failed to recognise his identity. He was taken to hospital and, mistaken for an Indian, Pakistan declared that two Indian pilots were in its custody. The mistake was corrected even though Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, too, repeated the incorrect claim.
“There is enough evidence to show F-16s were used in this mission and Pakistan is trying to hide this fact. The fact remains one F-16 was shot down by our MiG-21 Bison fighter,” he said, flaying “factually incorrect statements” made by Pakistan.
Pakistani military’s publicity wing ISPR’s release of pictures of India’s crashed MiG-21 was also dismissed. “The debris shown, in fact, is of its own F-16 fighter. A picture shows an engine’s outer casing … it is certainly not that of a MiG-21,” another officer said.