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India Didn’t Shoot Down F-16. No Restrictions On Pakistan Over Use Of Jets: US

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Two senior United States (US) defence officials on Thursday busted Indian lies saying that they counted Pakistan’s F-16s and found none of the aircrafts sold by the US missing.

The US findings bust Indian claims that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman managed to shoot down a Pakistani F-16 before he was shot down with another. Some elements in the Indian media also claimed that Pakistan shot down its own F-16.

The two defence officials told Foreign Policy that Pakistan officially invited them to count the number of F-16 fighter jets after the dog fight with India on February 27.

India had asked the US government to probe whether Pakistan’s use of the F-16 against India violated the terms of the foreign military sale agreements. However, the first defense official said “the agreement did not involve any terms limiting the use of the F-16s”.

“It would be incredibly naive for us to believe that we could sell some type of equipment to Pakistan that they would not intend to use in a fight,” the official told Foreign Policy.

Viping Narang, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor, told FP that things look ‘worse and worse for India’. “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.

Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG21 was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for entering the country’s airspace in February. He was released two days later as peace gesture on orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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But the MiG21 was not the only combat air vehicle India lost. The same day, Indian Air Force (IAF)’s chopper went down due to ‘technical fault’, but Indian authorities are investigation the matter and initial probe suggests Indian defence shot down its own helicopter after mistaking it for a Pakistan drone.

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