Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Home Fact-Check Fact Check: Did India lie about shooting down Pakistani F-16 fighter jet?

Fact Check: Did India lie about shooting down Pakistani F-16 fighter jet?

There are several evidences showing that two pilots had ejected, and Pakistan used F-16

Pakistan has been denying India’s claim that Indian Air Force bombed terror camps in Pakistan on 26th February, and one F-16 jet of Pakistan was shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman before his MiG-21 was shot down inside Pakistan and he was captured. Indian opposition parties have chosen to believe the Pakistani version instead of what is said by Indian defence forces, and have been demanding proof of the strike from the government.

Joining the doubters, now journalist Saikat Datta has written an article claiming that there is no proof that India had shot down the Pakistan Air Force’s American fighter jet. In an article published on Asia Times, Datta uses social media claims and arguments made by Pakistani side to prove that no F-16 jet was shot down by Indian Air Force.

By making this claim, the author is levelling a very serious charge on the Indian defence forces of lying. The claim of F-16 being shot down was not made in a political rally, it was informed by the spokesperson of mthe inistry of external affairs. He had said that the Pakistani aircraft falling down on Pakistani side was seen by ground forces in India. After that, the same claim was reiterated in a joint conference of the three Armed Forces.

Pakistan even denied the use of F-16 in the attempt to bomb Indian military bases, but that has been already proven to be a lie after the discovery of missile fragments fired from F-16 jets. Datta’s article itself quotes a Pakistani official confirming the use of F-16 jets by Pakistan. In that scenario, the Pakistani claim that F-16 jet was not hit remains a doubt and their version can’t be taken seriously as truth.

One argument used in the article to prove that F-16 was not hit is the fact that there is no Wing Commander Shahaz-ud-Din in PAF who was rumoured to have died while flying the F-16. Doing a probe, Asia Times has found that there is no such pilot in Pakistan Air Force, hence the claim of F-16 being shot down is false, he writes.

But the fact is, govt of India or IAF never released any name of the pilot who was flying the F-16. It came from so-called defence expert Praveen Swami, and quickly it spread on Social Media. Swamy has a history of concocting stories on defence matters, therefore to use a claim made by him to prove government wrong is too much. Is there really a Pakistan Air Force pilot with that name, or someone created it out of thin air, that remains a matter of investigation, but that is no way a prove that F-16 was not shot down. Proving some random social media rumour as wrong is not the same as proving the main claim of government wrong.

Indian forces have so far provided two evidences about the Pakistani F-16. First, a part of wreckage claimed to be from MiG-21 was proved to be from F-16 engine, based on photographs of the wreckage published by Pakistan. Second, fragments of AIM-120 AMRAAM missile was found on Indian soil after Pakistan’s attempt to bomb Indian military bases, and this missile can be carried only by the F-16.

Moreover, there are several evidences that two fighter jets were hit on that day, not just the Indian MiG-21. Initially, Pakistan government itself had claimed that they had shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured two Indian pilots, which points to the strong possibility that Pakistani ground forces saw two jets falling and two parachutes coming down, and due to that, the Pakistani authorities had assumed both to be Indian jets.

The initial reports publishing the photos of the wreckages of the planes states that the photos belong to two aircraft that fell inside Pakistan. While MiG-21 was misidentified as MiG-27 in early reports, the other one was not identified, possibly because F-16 was broken into pieces after hit by the R-73 missile fired by Wing Commander Abhinandan.

The moment of pilots descending using parachutes after ejecting from their destroyed jets was video recorded by people in Pakistan on their phones. In the videos shared on Youtube, it can be heard that people recording the incident are talking about two parachutes coming down. Close examination of the video embedded below also show two parachutes coming down, both at different distances from the camera.

Here is another video shot from a different place, and here also two pilots descending with parachutes can be seen. People are talking about two pilots in this video also.

These videos shot by Pakistani citizens clearly show that two pilots had come down after ejecting from their aircrafts on that day. The MiG-21 Bison used by IAF is a single seater aircraft, and now it is known that only one Indian pilot had landed in Pakistan who was captured by the Pakistani military. This leaves only one possibility, that the other pilot seen in the videos has to be from the Pakistani Air Force.

The Asia Times article also talks absence about audio, video and electronic evidence of the F-16 being engaged by the MiG-21. But the fact is, it has already been reported that Abhinandan had sent the audio message “R-73 is selected” seconds before he was shot down, indicating that he was using the Vympel R-73 air to air missile to shoot down an enemy aircraft. If he had no target in sight and locked by the targeting system of the MiG-21, there was no reason for him to fire a missile on Pakistani airspace.

The event of firing the missile will be recorded by on board computers of the MiG-21, but it is with Pakistanis now, so that data can’t be obtained. The article talks about providing other electronic data as proof, like data from the Airborne Early Warning System aircraft and Radar systems, but such kind of data is highly confidential in nature and the security forces may not want to disclose such data to satisfy few who do not believe the government. Such data may give a glimpse of abilities of India’s defence systems and that may not be desirable.

Pakistan is not known to accept losses incurred by in battles. It even denied the involvement of the Pakistani military in the Kargil war for a long time. Therefore, it is natural that they will hide the loss of an aircraft in combat in their territory. But to use those claims to accuse Indian defence forces of lying is highly unacceptable. There may not be concrete proof that the F-16 was shot down till now, but similarly, there is concrete proof to claim that India is lying. But whatever evidence is present at present points towards the possibility that Pakistan did lose a fighter aircraft on that day, and most probably that aircraft was an F-16.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Allahabad HC upheld ‘conversion only for marriage invalid’ when a Muslim converted to Hinduism, does u-turn when a Hindu converted to Islam

The Allahabad HC had also ruled that SC had observed in several cases the right to choose a partner is an integral part of Fundamental rights

Far away from India, a Vedic ecosystem rises in Texas Gaushala

In January 2020, I shared the story of Abhinav Goswami, who decided to bring to America the gifts of ancient India

Pakistan Court, which granted custody of 13-year-old Christian girl to 44-year-old Azhar, exonerates abductor, says ‘no rape’: Shocking details

Earlier the Pakistan court had granted the custody of a 13-year-old girl Christian girl to her 44-year-old abductor Ali Azhar

Muzaffarnagar: Yogi govt demolishes illegal construction on 100 Bighas of forest dept land by Islamic preacher Pir Khushal Miyan

A letter written by Union Minister of State Dr Sanjeev Balyan to the DM ordered the authorities to get the land belonging to the forest department vacated at the earliest.

J-K admin makes public list of beneficiaries under ‘illegal’ Roshni Act, names of former PDP minister, Congress leader, Farooq Abdullah etc emerge: Details

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had deemed the Roshni Act as illegal, directing the gvt to publish list of land beneficiaries on the official website

Grooming Jihad in Jharkhand: Rahim becomes Arjun, tells the Hindu woman to first convert to Islam if she wants them to get married

The latest case of Grooming Jihad (Love Jihad) has emerged from village Behera in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.

Recently Popular

Anvay Naik suicide case for which Arnab Goswami was arrested: Letters exchanged, the closure report, and unanswered questions

On 4th of Nov, the country watched as Arnab Goswami was dragged out of his house by over 20 armed policemen for a closed 2018 suicide case

Fraud fact-checker accuses TrueIndology of lying, when caught, wants an HD-quality photo from 1904

Pratik Sinha's lies were exposed in an OpIndia report. After his shoddy 'fact-checking' was called out, he has now resorted to name calling and shifting goalposts.

German police barge into the house of anti-lockdown activist Dr Andreas Noack, arrest him during YouTube livestream: Watch video

Dr. Andreas Noack, was arrested by the German Police on Wednesday in what appears to be a gross violation of personal liberty.

Pratibha Patil is trending on Twitter and it is not what you think. Read details

Former President Pratibha Patil was trending on Twitter and it was not because of what people think.

Uttar Pradesh: Golu and Guddu kill driver Mushtaq with an axe for harassing their sister, surrender to police

The brothers, Golu and Guddu, reportedly reached the police station with a blood-stained axe and confessed to killing Mushtaq.

Actress Sana Khan who quit bollywood for Islam marries a Muslim cleric who was introduced to her by hatemonger Ajaz Khan

Sana Khan married the Muslim cleric in a small intimate ceremony in Surat. The newly married couple also cut a cake after the wedding.
- Advertisement -

Delhi Riots case: Court says enough material on record to proceed against Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and Faizan Khan for offences under UAPA

All the three accused Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and Faizan Khan were arrested for their alleged role in the anti-Hindu Delhi riots case.

Airport in Ayodhya to be named Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram Airport, Yogi gives assent

Yogi Adityanath has cleared a proposal to rename the Ayodhya Airport to Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram Airport, Ayodhya.

Karnataka High Court dismisses murder convict’s defence, says refusal to marriage cannot be accepted as ‘sudden provocation’ for committing murder

The Karnataka High Court noted that agreeing to the defence that 'grave and sudden' provocation led the accuse to murder the victim will rob the woman of her choice and dignity

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij becomes first to get trial dose of India-made COVID vaccine

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij was administered a trial dose of India made Covaxin at a hospital in Ambala on November 20

Habitual offender Rehana Fathima given last warning by Kerala High Court after violating bail condition in ‘Gomatha’ cookery video

In the cookery video titled Gomatha Ularthu, Fathima kept referring to the meat as Gomatha. The High Court let her go giving her last opportunity to 'improve'.

Uttar Pradesh: Shahid once again elopes with minor girl belonging to other community after securing bail; family demands strict action

Shahid had lured the same girl away in March as well after which he was jailed but sections of POCSO were not invoked.

Anti-Conversion law: Yogi government approves ordinance against unlawful religious conversions, violations to attract up to 10 years in jail

The anti-conversion ordinance passed by Uttar Pradesh govt also has provisions for 10 years’ jail for mass conversion

Allahabad HC upheld ‘conversion only for marriage invalid’ when a Muslim converted to Hinduism, does u-turn when a Hindu converted to Islam

The Allahabad HC had also ruled that SC had observed in several cases the right to choose a partner is an integral part of Fundamental rights

HuffPost India shuts shop days after public notice asking for lowering down FDI in digital media

HuffPost India is shutting down its operations from the 24th of November, an announcement on its website read.

A couple tries to self-immolate outside Odisha assembly, alleges police inaction in their child’s murder case as suspect belongs to ruling BJD

The couple alleged that neither the police nor the administration helped them as the suspect was close to the the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) minister Arun Sahu. A case was registered by the police but no arrest was made.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
488,465FollowersFollow
20,100SubscribersSubscribe