On Monday, Pakistan indicates that F-16s might have been used to hit Indian fighter jets during the aerial combat on February 27 and reveals that Islamabad retains the right to use “anything and everything”.
A statement has been issued with reference by Pakistan’s military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor he said “repeated Indian claims” about shooting down of Pakistani F-16 by India and use of F-16 by India in the air battle on February 27.
“As regard Pakistan Air Force (PAF) action for strikes across Line of Control, it was done by JF-17 from within Pakistan airspace,” he said, claiming that the two Indian jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) which were shot down by the PAF.
He immediately said that it was immaterial to discuss whether it was F-16 or JF-17 which shot down the two Indian aircraft.
“Even if F-16 have been used as at that point in time complete PAF was airborne including F16s, the fact remains that Pakistan Airforce shot down the two Indian jets in self –defence. India can assume any type of their choice even F-16.
Pakistan retains the right to use anything and everything in its legitimate self-defence,” the statement said.
He rejected that any F-16 was destroyed by Indian Air Force. Wing-Commander Nauman Ali Khan was praised by the Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the Pakistani assembly. It was revealed that Nauman Ali Khan was a career F-16 pilot. The probe established that Pakistan officially identified a pilot, who flew an F-16, for attacking Indian aircraft last month.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) on February 26 struck Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot. The Balakot airstrike came in response to the suicide attack which killed 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.