U.S. count found no Pakistan F-16 jet missing

U.S. count found no Pakistan F-16 jet missing

"Generally in such agreements, the United States requires the receiving country to allow U.S. officials to inspect the equipment regularly to ensure it is accounted for and protected", said the report claiming the PAF F-16 fleet was intact. The two sightings were at places separated by at least 8-10 kilometers.

In his debriefing upon his return to India, Vardhaman - who let off an R37 missile from his Mig-21 - said he saw a PAF F-16 going down on the other side of the border.

"A United States count of Pakistan's F-16 fleet has found that all the jets are present and accounted for, a direct contradiction to India's claim that it shot down one of the fighter jets during a February clash", Lara Seligman of the magazine reported.

The IAF claimed that Varthaman had shot down an F-16 jet of Pakistan before ejecting from his crashing MiG-21 Bison jet.

Sources also gave details of the radio transmission picked up by the Indian military, which clearly shows Pakistan soldiers talking about two 'parinda' (aircraft) and two 'parinde wale' (pilots). "Electronic signatures gathered by us indicate PAF aircraft was an F-16", ANI quoted IAF as saying today.

A large number of the F-16s were purchased by Pakistan under a USA security aid programme, which imposes certain limits on how the aircraft can be used. But that, by itself, does not offer any clues on whether Abhinandan Varthaman had shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16, as has been repeatedly claimed by the government and the IAF.

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In a press conference, which was posted on Twitter at 1:14 pm, Ghafoor stated that Pakistani ground troops had captured two Indian pilots.

Two combat planes went down that day, one was an Indian and the other belonged to Pakistan air force (PAF) the IAF said in a statement. The remnants of a US -made AIM-120 air-to-air missile was found near the site; out of all the aircraft involved, only the F-16 can shoot such a weapon.

Foreign Policy said Pakistan had invited US officials to physically count the F-16 planes after the incident.

What is more, the spokesman said that India had "flagged" the incident to the U.S. and is now awaiting a response from Washington to clarify whether Pakistan was allowed to use the jets in the February incident or not.

Now New Delhi, which accidentally shot down one of its own helicopters during the skirmish, has argued its pilot claimed one of Islamabad's F-16s during the dogfight. "The count has been completed and all the (F-16) aircraft were present and accounted for", the official added. An embarrassing moment came for the host of a TV show when his expert demonstrated to him live on air why the wreckage of an engine belonging to a crashed jet could not have been a Pakistani F-16 as was being claimed. It also claims to have shot a second Indian air force jet during the engagement, a claim India has denied.

The news comes just days before the start of India's general elections, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking another term in office.

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