The US says India never shot down a Pakistani F-16

US officials say no Pakistani F-16s missing raising doubts over India's claim report

IAF sources also stated that whenever proximity fuse operates the seeker's head falls to the ground. All 4 missile seeker heads recovered intact from the wreckage and held.

Pakistani Armed Forces Spokesman Maj.

According to a report in Foreign Policy, a prominent American magazine, a USA count of the F-16 jets with Pakistan has found that none of them is "missing" and all the fighter planes were "present and accounted for".

The US State Department and the Indian and Pakistani embassies declined to comment, the report said.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF)'s fighter jet F-16 flies during an air show to celebrate the country's Independence Day in Karachi, Pakistan August 14, 2017.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday refuted USA media reports claiming that none of the PAF's F-16 fighters was downed after an aerial dogfight on February 27, and said "electronic signatures" gathered on that day indicate that F-16 went down. The pilot of that jet Varthaman was captured by Pakistan and handed over to India on March 1 in an effort to de-escalate the crisis. The soldiers already had one pilot in custody at the time.

The use of the F-16 had triggered vehement protests by the Indian government amid claims Pakistan had violated end-user agreements that barred the deployment of the fighter in offensive operations.

Interestingly, earlier this week, Pakistan had, effectively, accepted that it had used F-16 jets in the aerial skirmish after denying Indian allegations for over a month.

According to Foreign Policy, one of the senior USA defence officials with direct knowledge of the situation said that Pakistan invited Washington to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalized.

Generally, in such agreements, the USA requires the receiving country to allow its officials to inspect the equipment regularly to ensure it is accounted for and protected, the news report said. 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. Pakistani officials, as well as the locals, rejected the claims, inviting local and global media to visit the site of the so-called attack where around a dozen trees were the only "casualty".

An associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vipin Narang, told FP that although the news likely won't affect Indian voters, it may affect Delhi's dealings with Pakistan in the future. "Whatever the truth, the fact remains that India imposed no notable costs on Pakistan to deter further terrorist attacks".

"Allah be praised, truth always prevails".

As the report contradicted IAF claims, Pakistan military urged its Indian counterpart to "speak the truth" about the "actual losses" in the dogfight that took place after Pakistan Air Force retaliated to India's airstrikes on "non-military targets" in Balakot. India needs introspection especially over atrocities in IoK.

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