News Desk |
Indian media reports reveal that despite the mounting embarrassments of being debunked by highly acclaimed international analysts, New Delhi is still adamant on providing evidence for its baseless claims of shooting down a Pakistani F-16, a fighter aircraft that Pakistan did not even engage in the battle that ensued on 27th February.
A report by Indian Express revealed that the United States government has “declined to share any information” with New Delhi despite its repetitive claims and information sharing with the US officials indicating the use of the F-16 fighter jets in Feb dogfight.
Speaking to The Sunday Express on the condition of maintaining anonymity, a US official stated, “Soon after we were informed by the Indian side about Pakistan using F-16 aircraft on February 27, we informed the Indians that we will not be sharing any information on the subject as it is a bilateral matter between the US and Pakistan.”
The unnamed US official stressed that there is an “underlying logic” to the US’s decision to withhold information-sharing on Pakistan’s use of the F-16 fighter jets. The official explained, “If a third country tomorrow wants information about the C130 or C17 or Apaches that the IAF uses, our answer would be the same. It is a bilateral matter between India and the US.”
The US official further added that India provided information that suggested PAF’s use of F-16 fighter jets; however, “it has not presented any evidence about the shooting down of an F-16 by the IAF on February 27”. The US official concluded that the only evidence of Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shooting down a PAF F-16 fighter jet before his own jet crashed was “what was presented in the Indian media”.
In a pathetic attempt to substantiate this baseless claim, the IAF had shared evidence of “call signs associated with the PAF F-16s”, blown up scraps of the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air to Air (AMRAAM), however, it did not share any radar images or AWACS graphics and other conclusive evidence that could have been recorded through Wing Commander Abhinandan’s jet on the behest of protecting the IAF’s “operational security”.
A highly acclaimed report by US magazine Foreign Policy had confirmed that the US count of PAF’s F-16 concluded that none of the fighter jets provided to Pakistan was “missing” and the fighter jets were “present and accounted for”.
Pakistan has, time and again, denied the use of the F-16 fighter jets in an offensive military operation, which is against the terms of the settlement between Washington and Islamabad reached upon the acquisition of the US-manufactured jets. Earlier, DG ISPR Asif Ghafoor had also asserted that how the Pakistan Air Force chooses to use the F-16 fighter jets is strictly a matter that “remains between Pakistan and the US to see how the MoUs regarding the use of F-16 have been adhered to or otherwise.”