Islamabad: Pakistan Army on Monday once again rejected India’s claim of shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet, saying one cannot hide if a plane is downed in today’s age when even if a motorcycle crashes the world finds out.
India has asserted that an Indian Air Force MIG-21 shot down an American-made F-16 on February 27 during the aerial confrontation, a day after Indian fighter jets bombed a JeM terror camp in Balakot, Pakistan. Pakistan, however, has consistently denied the Indian Air Force’s claim, saying none of its aircraft was shot down during the weeks of tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries. Pakistan also claims to have shot a second Indian Air Force jet during the engagement, a claim India has dismissed.
“We downed two Indian planes in the process, the whole world saw their debris and you [India] still claimed that one of the two planes was ours and one of our own pilots died, as we had initially said that two Indian pilots had been captured, and then said that there was only one. You [India] said that we have changed our statement because one pilot was our own,” Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters in Rawalpindi.
“We got initial information through the proper channel, then on the ground, I personally found out that only one person had been captured and I sent out the correction myself. How is it that you are ready to accept one of our statement, not the other?” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper. “We have not retaliated because we want peace […] we asked you [India] to ask America about our F-16s’ strength. In this day and age, hiding the downing of a plane is impossible. In this time, even if a motorcycle crashes the world finds out,” he added.