Did Pakistan Really Use F-16s To Shoot Down Indian Jets?
In the wake of Pulwama attack, Indian Air Force intruded into Pakistan’s airspace but returned after “timely” action by Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
Pakistan downed two Indian jets in retaliation while capturing an Indian pilot the next day. In order to neutralize the threat of a nuclear war between two rival countries, Prime Minister Imran Khan handed back the captured India pilot as a peace gesture.
India has claimed that it intruded into Pakistan’s airspace to destroy a Jaish-e-Muhammad—militant outfit that claimed responsibility for Pulwama attack— camp in Balakot but Pakistan has vehemently denied the claims and India is yet to provide any evidence.
Undoubtedly, the events that transpired after the Pulwama attack raised many questions regarding the veracity of claims made by both countries. One of the claims is that Pakistan has used F-16 jets to shoot down Indian aircraft, which would be against Pakistan and the US deal, considering that the US has given these jets to Pakistan to fight against militants.
Pakistan has maintained that it has used JF-17 Thunder to shoot down Indian aircraft, not F-16. However, the Indian government wants an investigation to be launched and action be taken against Pakistan for violating the US contract.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been accused of escalating tensions and creating war-hysteria for electoral gain. Many countries in South Asia and international powers have urged both countries to de-escalate tensions to maintain peace in the region, considering the capabilities of Pakistan and Indian armies.
When Pakistan and Indian armies’ comparison is drawn, there is no doubt that a war between the two countries will be devastating for the peace of the entire region.