Two senior U.S. defence officials with direct knowledge of the situation told the Foreign Policy magazine that American personnel recently counted Islamabad's F-16s and found none of the planes missing.
However, the first defense official said the agreement did not involve any terms limiting the use of the F-16s. Pakistan invited the U.S. to count the number of F-16s after the dogfight with India on February 27, the report said quoting an official. Some of the aircraft were not immediately available for inspection due to the conflict, so it took several weeks to account for all the jets, the report quoted one of the unnamed officials as saying.
In response to a question on Special Envoy of US State Secretary Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad pressing Pakistan to deliver more on Afghanistan, the spokesperson said, "Pakistan will take every decision in its national interests".
Pakistan has announced that it will release 360 Indian prisoners, who have completed their sentence, on "humanitarian ground", Radio Pakistan reported on Friday. The US might be reluctant to admit that an F-16 was possibly shot down by an obsolete warplane like the MiG-21.
"It looks increasingly like India failed to impose significant costs on Pakistan, but lost a plane and a helicopter of its own in the process", he said.
"Allah be praised, truth always prevails". In the very next frame of the AWACS picture, eight seconds later, the symbol for the PAF F-16 aircraft is missing indicating what IAF sources say is a shootdown of the jet. India needs introspection especially over atrocities in IOK.
India will need to learn that peace in the region will make genuine and meaningful development possible.
Following the air battle, which led to the capture of Vardhaman by Pakistani forces, the external affairs ministry had said that "one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force". "The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side", Kumar had said. "Electronic signatures gathered by us indicate that the PAF aircraft was an F-16", the air force said. "The second identity is not known as Pakistan has not revealed it", it said. "Later when 2 Indian jets crossed LOC they were shot down by PAF". The F-16 is the only aircraft capable of firing that weapon out of all the aircraft involved in the incident. Responding to the contradictory claims from New Delhi, Islamabad noted that it was "immaterial" whether it had used F-16s or JF-17. An embarrassing moment came for the host of a TV show when his expert demonstrated to him live on air why the wreckage of an engine belonging to a crashed jet could not have been a Pakistani F-16 as was being claimed.
Meanwhile, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Asif Ghafoor also urged India to "speak the truth".
After the Pulwama suicide bombing by a young Muslim man born and bred in India-held Kashmir killed at least 40 paramilitary personnel on Feb 14 last and a claim of responsibility was purportedly made by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, India launched punitive air strikes against a JeM target, a madressah, in Pakistan's KP province on Feb 26. In the heat of the combat, he may have believed that he downed the Pakistani jet.
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