- International experts and US officials have already confirmed that no Pakistani F-16 was shot down on the day.
- MOFA says “India’s insistence on propagating a lie that has been thoroughly exposed is ludicrous and nonsensical”.
- Says by giving such an award to Abhinandan, “India has only made a mockery of itself”.
Pakistan on Tuesday completely dismissed Indian baseless allegations that a Pakistani F-16 plane was shot down by an Indian pilot before being taken over by Pakistan in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), quoted in the award to the fallen Indian pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, “classic case of Indian fabrications and pure fantasy to appease the domestic audience and hide embarrassment.”
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.
“India’s insistence on propagating a lie that has been thoroughly exposed is ludicrous and nonsensical,” the statement said, adding that granting military honours for imaginary feats of gallantry is contrary to every norm of military conduct.
“By giving such an award, also as an afterthought, India has only made a mockery of itself,” the statement said.
It is recalled that during the day, two Indian planes were shot down by the Pakistan Air Force on February 27, 2019. One Indian Mig-21 Bison plane crashed in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The exit pilot was photographed by Pakistan and later released as a gesture of kindness. His return to India was a testament to Pakistan’s desire for peace in spite of India’s hostility and the unthinkable act of violence.
Another Indian SU 30 aircraft shot down by the Pakistan Air Force crashed on the other side of the Line of Control (LOC). That same day, shocked, Indian soldiers shot down his own MI 17 helicopter near Srinagar, which he initially denied but later admitted. The Indian Air Force was fully operational that day.
“It is obvious that India’s farcical story has no credibility whatsoever before the international community,” the statement further added.
“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 future.”
India bestows Vir Chakra on IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman
IAF pilot and Team Captain Abhinandan Varthaman, who was arrested in 2019 by Pakistani soldiers after his MiG 21 was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), was awarded the Vir Chakra, India’s third highest military medal during the war on Monday.
According to Indian media, Abhinandan has been honored “shooting down a Pakistani F-16 plane during the February 2019 dogfight”.
The Vir Chakra award to Abhinandan was announced in August 2019 but was awarded today in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the country’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.