ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan has categorically rejected the entirely baseless Indian claims that a Pakistani F-16 aircraft was shot down by an Indian pilot before he was captured by Pakistan in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the citation of the award to the downed Indian pilot is a classic case of Indian fabrications and pure fantasy to appease the domestic audience and hide the embarrassment.
The statement said that International experts and US officials have already confirmed that no Pakistani F-16 was shot down on the day, after taking stock of Pakistani F-16 aircraft.
It said that India’s insistence on propagating a lie that has been thoroughly exposed is ludicrous and nonsensical.
“Granting military honours for imaginary feats of gallantry is contrary to every norm of military conduct. By giving such award, also as an afterthought, India has only made a mockery of itself,” the statement added.
It is reminded that in a daring daylight action, two Indian aircraft were shot down by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on February 27, 2019. One of the Indian Mig-21 Bison aircraft fell down in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
The pilot who ejected was captured by Pakistan and later released as a goodwill gesture. His return to India was a testimony of Pakistan’s desire for peace despite India’s hostility and ill-conceived aggressive action.
Another Indian aircraft SU 30 shot down by the PAF fell on the other side of the Line of Control (LoC). On the same day, in panic, the Indian military shot down its own MI 17 helicopter near Srinagar which initially denied, was accepted later on. Indian Air Force was completely outplayed on the day.
The statement said that it is obvious that India’s farcical story has no credibility whatsoever before the international community.
On its part, Pakistan stands as ready and resolute to thwart any hostile designs as it was in February 2019. India would do well to learn a lesson from its botched attempt to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and refrain from any misadventure in the future, it said.