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Pak F-16 was shot down by valiant pilot Wg Cdr Abhinandan: MEA


New Delhi, India on Saturday sought to mount further pressure on Pakistan by stating that it was Indian Air Force pilot Wg Cdr Abhinandan who shot down F-16 aircraft and also categorically confirmed that New Delhi has asked Washington to 'examine' how abuse of F-16 was in violation of conditions of sale. "As we have already said, there are eye-witness accounts and electronic evidence that Pakistan deployed F-16 aircraft and that one F-16 was shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said here. "We have asked the United States to also examine whether the use of F16 against India is in accordance with the terms and conditions of sale," he said. Amid repeated conflicting claims by Pakistan that no F-16 aircraft was used by it during February 27 misadventure, he said - "Evidence of the use of AMRAAM Missile, which can only be deployed on the F-16 with Pakistan, has also been shown to the media". "Pakistan should explain why it continues to deny that its F-16 aircraft has been shot down?," he asked quite pointedly. On February 27 dogfight, MEA spokesman said - "We have been transparent and open in informing the media on 27 February itself that, in the process of defending our national sovereignty and territorial integrity, one Mig 21 Bison was lost in action and Wing Commander Abhinandan had to bail out and landed in Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir". Pakistan, however, continues to propagate a false narrative of the events of that day, he said in reference to authorities in Islamabad claiming more than once that it downed 'two Indian jets'. Pakistan also had rejected IAF's assertion that a F-16 aircraft was shot down by Indian Air Force assault during the aerial engagement. "Only one aircraft was lost by us. If, as Pakistan claims, they have a video recording of the downing of a second Indian aircraft, why have they not shown it to the international media even after more than one week?," Mr Kumar said. "Questions should be asked to them as to where the fuselage of the aircraft is and what has happened to the pilots?," he said adding India has "eyewitness accounts and electronic evidence" that Pakistan did deploy F-16 aircraft. Fresh diplomatic and strategic woes seemed to be mounting on the Imran Khan-led dispensation as the United States is now keen to ‘confirm’ whether F-16 fighter jets were really used by Pakistan during their February 27 misadventure against India. “We take all allegations of misuse of defence articles very seriously,” a spokesman of the US embassy in Pakistan has said on March 3. “We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” the US official has been quoted. In Delhi, the ruling BJP sources say things are being closely followed as the developments have been going according to Government of India’s “wishes and fact”. “Pakistan’s double speak and hesitation is palpable. They are denying using F-16. But are they specifying which other plane was used? The season of trouble seems to have started,” said a key government source. “Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across the Line of Control,” the Pakistan foreign said on February 27 in one of its first statement after dogfight. But after Indian Air Force officials on Thursday displayed parts of what they called an air to air missile, Islamabad has come under pressure to deny as there are broad hints that such strikes by Pakistan against India was ‘abuse’ of F-16 and violation of the ‘end users’ code and trade agreements from the US manufacturers.

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