Friday, August 14, 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.

- Advertisement -

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 Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Former SP leader Shahzeb Rizvi announces bounty of Rs 51 lakh on Karnataka Congress MLA’s nephew Naveen’s head for ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post

Shahzeb Rizvi said that whoever beheads Naveen for insulting the Prophet and brings his head will be given a bounty of Rs 51 lakh

Chinese media publishes propaganda of Pakistan’s Ambassador to China but refuses to carry India’s rebuttal: Here are the full details

A day after first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370, Chinese state media runs Pakistani propaganda

Congress link emerges in Bengaluru riots, husband of party’s corporator named as an accused in FIR

Kaleem Pasha - one of the masterminds of Bengalururiots, is the husband of Congress corporator from Nagavara Irshad Begum

‘Temples are spreading COVID-19’: 5 reasons why that is untrue and mere propaganda, driven by Leftists and Islamists

Left-liberals and Islamists have started to trend "#TirupatiVirus" on Twitter, claiming that 75% of India's COVID-19 cases are linked to temples.

Dravidian sabotage in education: Behind the veils of the Dravidian Delusion

Tamils in Tamil Nadu have had the benefits of national integration, wider exposure to language among others, denied to them by the Dravidian agitation.

PM Narendra Modi launches Transparent Taxation platform, Taxpayer’s Charter to honour the honest taxpayers

PM Modi launches new transparent taxation platform including Faceless assessments, Faceless appeals, and Taxpayer's charter

Recently Popular

Bengaluru: Amidst chants of ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ and ‘Nara e Taqbeer’, Muslim mob burns down police station, Dalit Congress MLA’s residence over Facebook post...

Angered over Dalit Congress MLA's nephew's alleged Facebook post on Prophet Mohammad, rioting Muslim mob went on a rampage in Bengaluru

Alia Bhatt starrer Mahesh Bhatt’s Sadak 2 trailer gets over 1.3 million ‘dislikes’ on YouTube within hours of premiere

Within hours of its premiere on YouTube, the Sadak 2 trailer got over 1.3 million dislikes, making it one of the most disliked tailer on the video streaming site.

Pakistan: Maulvi rapes child reading Quran in mosque in Sindh province, caught on CCTV

Muslim Cleric in Sindh province in Pakistan on the run after video of hem raping a child inside a mosque emerges, case registered

Bengaluru Riots: SDPI’s Muzammil Pasha arrested for organising, instigating violence, two other SDPI members absconding

The SDPI local leader Muzammil Pasha had visited the police station along with the mob to register a complaint against a person named Naveen over the alleged derogatory Facebook post.

Linkedin employee Sourav Paul vows to murder Brahmins, claims it is easier to kill instead of opposing them

LinkedIn Employee Sourav Paul was unapologetic about his vitriol and abused a person when his hatred towards Rama was pointed out.

Maharashtra CM’s son involved in Sushant Singh Rajput death case, says Bihar govt’s lawyer: Here are the full details

SC heard Rhea Chakraborty’s plea for the second time in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput death case today

Former SP leader Shahzeb Rizvi announces bounty of Rs 51 lakh on Karnataka Congress MLA’s nephew Naveen’s head for ‘blasphemous’ Facebook post

Shahzeb Rizvi said that whoever beheads Naveen for insulting the Prophet and brings his head will be given a bounty of Rs 51 lakh

Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau appoints investigation team to find out causes of the Air India Express flight crash at Kozhikode airport

Capt. S S Chahar, former designated examiner of Boeing 737 NG, has been appointed as Investigator-In-Charge for Kozhikode crash probe

Bengaluru riots: Muslim mob wanted to kill Naveen for his ‘blasphemous’ post, torched down police station as cops prevented it

The Bengaluru riots were triggered by a Facebook post by Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy's nephew Naveen

BMC removes illegal loudspeaker at Mankhurd for which Karishma Bhosale was heckled by Muslims, was sent notice by Mumbai police

Mumbai police had sent notice to Karishma Bhosale calling her request to lower volume of Mosque's loudspeaker "inappropriate"

From cheap goods to telecom: How China’s industrial hegemony and guerilla marketing tactics can hurt India

Be it the battlefield or business environment, Chinese have always tried to strain India's economy in all possible aspects.

Mumbai Police records statement of journalist Faye D’Souza’s husband in the ‘fake views’ scam involving singer Badshah

Rapper Badshah had confessed that he had paid Qyukl, where Sagar Gokhale is director and COO, for fake views of his YouTube video

ED questions Rhea Chakraborty over alleged mismatch in income and expenses, asks to submit financial records: Read details

Rhea and her brother are directors in at least two firms, Front India For World Foundation and Vividrage Rhealityx Private Limited, set up by Rajput.

Fact-check: Did water enter Delhi Transport Corporation bus when incessant rains flooded the national capital

The video which social media users claimed to be of Delhi is from Jaipur which was uploaded on YouTube on August 11, 2020

Chinese media publishes propaganda of Pakistan’s Ambassador to China but refuses to carry India’s rebuttal: Here are the full details

A day after first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370, Chinese state media runs Pakistani propaganda

Tricolour is slowly replacing the black flag in Chhattisgarh’s worst Naxal-hit regions as villagers embrace peace and development: Report

Many schools in the Bastar district, which is considered a core area of Naxal activity, have started initiating flag hoisting ceremony on occasions like Independence Day and Republic day or any other national festival, in which the villagers participate extensively, says the report.

Connect with us