RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army’s spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor on Monday maintained that India is yet to provide any concrete evidence of the downing of a Pakistani F-16 in an air battle on February 27.
Earlier in the day, Indian Air Force (IAF) claimed that it was in possession of “irrefutable” evidence to prove that its vintage MiG-21 Bison shot down a Pakistan Air Force’s modern F-16 combat jet in the aerial engagement.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) DG responded by saying, “Repetitions don’t make truth of a lie.”
“Despite claiming possession of evidence on shooting F16, IAF still short of presenting it,” Maj Gen Ghafoor said on Twitter. “Don’t overlook Pakistan’s silence for not drum beating losses on Indian side. Fact is that PAF shot down two IAF jets, wreckage seen on ground by all.”
Last Monday, the Pakistan Army had rejected Indian claims saying, “Reference repeated Indian claims about shooting down of Pakistani F-16 by India and use of F16 in air battle on 27 February. The event of 27 Feb is part of history now. No Pakistani F16 was hit by Indian airforce.”
ISPR added that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) were carried out by JF-17 from within Pakistan airspace.
“Later when 2 Indian jets crossed LOC they were shot down by PAF. Whether it was F16 or JF17 which shot down 2 Indian aircrafts is immaterial,” added the statement.
“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 two Indian jets in self-defence. India can assume any type of their choice even F-16.”
The ISPR stressed that Pakistan retained the right to use anything and everything in its legitimate self-defence.
Last month, Maj Gen Ghafoor, in an interview with international media, categorically rejected Indian claims that Pakistan used US-made F-16 to down Indian aircraft on February 27.
“The aircraft which engaged those targets and fought them were JF-17. As regard to how to use F-16, in what context [they] were used or not — because at that point of time our entire Air Force was airborne — now it remains between Pakistan and the US to see how the MoUs regarding the use of F-16 have been adhered to or otherwise,” Maj Gen Ghafoor said in an interview to Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik.