Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Thursday said that Pakistan knew about Indian plans of installing three missiles in Rajasthan and had warned the arch-rival of launching nine missiles in case of any misadventure. Speaking during the ARY NEWS programme, Power Play, Asad Umar while narrating the events that unfolded in the aftermath of the Indian pilot Abhinandan’s capture, said that they conveyed to Ajit Doval and RAW chief that Pakistan would fire nine missiles after receiving reports of aggression from the Indian side.
India prepared for an attack and Pakistan was also ready to respond to it in a befitting manner, he said. He further rejected the remarks of PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq and said that the issue of Abhinandan was never discussed in the meeting mentioned by the former National Assembly speaker.
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former Speaker National Assembly, has made some irresponsible statements while delivering a speech in the assembly. Sadiq alleged that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that “if we do not release Abhinandan, India may attack Pakistan”.
Asad Umar lamented that remarks from opposition leaders have given India a chance to hide behind its humiliation. “We could not term this statement from PML-N leader as a slip of the tongue as PML-N leaders have been continuously targeting the state institutions,” he said while mentioning that Nawaz Sharif and Ayaz Sadiq’s remarks have been aired on Indian television screens to humiliate the country.
India shot down PAF F-16?
On 26 Feb, 2019 Indian planes had crossed the Line of Control and struck deep inside the Pakistani territory at Balakot (near Abbottabad, in the Pakistani province of Khyher Pakthunkhwa) prompting a counter-strike from Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Feb, 27. In the ensuing dogfight India lost two planes (a Mig-21 and an advanced Russian built SU-30) and subsequently Pakistan had closed its airspace to Indian planes for several weeks.
On 28th February 2019, spokesperson of the Indian Air Force had stated during a press briefing, “In the aerial combat that ensued, one F-16 of PAF was shot down by an IAF MiG-21 Bison. The F-16 crashed and fell across the Line of Control in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.” It is important to note that the IAF had cited the same MiG-21 that was carrying Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, whose jet crashed in Pakistan after taking a hit from the PAF fighter jet, and was returned to New Delhi 60 hours after the air battle.
The eminent US magazine, Foreign Policy, revealed that two unnamed US defense officials have physically counted all the F-16 jets in PAF’s possession, and none of the aircraft is missing.
Foreign Policy noted that Pakistan had itself extended the invitation of the US Defense officials to physically count the F-16 planes in Pakistan’s possession, and it took several weeks because some of the jets were not available due to the ongoing border conflicts. The report quoted the US Defense official as saying that now that the count has been completed, all aircrafts “were present and accounted for”.