Coming as a reassurance for India’s claim that Wing Commander Abhinandan has shot down an F-16, the US had reprimanded the Pakistan Air Force chief in August for misusing F-16 fighter jets by undermining their shared security platforms and infrastructures, a media report has said, months after the Indian Air Force shot down an F-16 jet of Pakistan Air Force during an aerial combat over Kashmir after the cowardly Pulwama attack conspired by Pakistan.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, an IAF pilot, who has became a national idol after he had shot down a Pakistani F-16 during a dogfight on February 27 this year, he even was awarded with the Vir Chakra as the Indian Air force has recommended the Wing Commander for India’s third highest wartime gallantry award for his exemplary military skills.
Wing Commander Abhinandan was flying a vintage MiG-21 Bison when he shot down a Pakistani F-16. A MiG-21 Bison shooting down technologically superior F-16 fighter. Pakistan had been claiming that the country’s air force had not used F-16 fighter jets against India day after the Balakot airstrike in which IAF jets bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps.
Countering the childish claims of Pakistan, Andrea Thompson, the then-undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, had written a letter to Pakistan Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan in August over the matter in the immediate aftermath of the February 26 Balakot airstrikes, US News quoted a source as saying that the communication served as a direct response to America’s concerns about the F-16 use over Kashmir in February.
“While we understand from you that these aircraft movements were done in support of national defense objectives, the US government considers the relocation of aircraft to non-US government authorised bases concerning and inconsistent with the F-16 Letter of Offer and Acceptance,” Thompson said in his letter.
Notably, a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group had cowardly bombed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14.
India had launched a counter-terror operation against a JeM training camp in Balakot on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated but only to get its own F 16 gunned down in a dogfight by Commander Abhinandan. Pakistan true to its nature, disbanded even the death body of its own soldier who was piloting the F16.
The efforts made by the government officials in exposing the blatant lie of Pakistan must be commended, South Block officials had shared call signs associated with PAF F-16s, and specific details of the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air To Air Missile (AMRAAM) used by the intruding fighter jets with the US through institutionalised intelligence channels.
The F-16 fighter jets were top of the class, highly manoeuvrable, supersonic and multi-role tactical fighter aircraft. Pakistan has been consistently denying the use of the jets, as acceptance will lead to huge repercussions for the country. To save face, Pakistan had been claiming to have used Chinese JF-17s.