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Pakistan Wants 'Truth' From India About Recent Aerial Dogfight

Pakistan Wants 'Truth' From India About Recent Aerial Dogfight

Many agreements on the sale of USA military hardware to third countries include clauses allowing US officials to regularly inspect the equipment.

Meanwhile, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Asif Ghafoor also urged India to "speak the truth".

Ghafoor's statements came hours after the publication of a report in US-based Foreign Policy magazine that quoted two unnamed United States defence officials as verifying that, following a count of Pakistan's F-16 fighter jet fleet, there were no aircraft missing. Pakistani aircraft, on the other hand, fell in Pakistan, India has said and circulated pictures of one of its pilots and it has also said it knew the pilot's name. On why the count had taken several weeks to conduct, the official said that several jets were not immediately available for inspection due to the conflict. So how this part was found in India if Pakistan did not use F-16 against India.

In all its statements on the aerial combat with Pakistan, New Delhi had insisted that a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet was shot down by the Indian Air Force.

India also complained to the U.S. that Pakistan used American supplied F-16s in the attack and gave further proof (pieces of an AMRAAM i.e advanced medium range air-to-air missile) about it.

There are no official figures from Pakistan on how many F-16s it has but reported estimates place the number between 70 and 80.

Now, "Pakistan has decided that 360 Indian prisoners - having breakup of 355 fishermen and five civilians, who have completed their term of sentence, will be released", Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for the Pakistan Foreign Office, told reporters.

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Details of the India-Pakistan air engagement have not been fully provided by either side.

The Bison variant of the MiG-21 that the IAF flies can only carry four air-to-air missiles at a time, suggesting that Wing Commander Abhinandan never got a shot off before his jet was downed.

The Indian claim of decimating the "largest terrorist training camp" in Pakistan in the Feb 26 so-called air strike has already been shred to pieces by worldwide media and experts.

Foreign media reports from the site, backed by satellite images, also contradicted Indian claims the February 26 counterterrorism cross-border strike had damaged any structure or killed militant casualties.

Following the air battle, which led to the capture of Vardhaman by Pakistani forces, the external affairs ministry had said that "one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force".

At the time, U.S. officials told Al Jazeera the Pakistani military had invited USA inspectors to visit Pakistani airbases to verify the number of F-16s in the fleet.

In an apparent reference to Pulwama terror attack, the Congress leader said attacks happen all the time and then referred to the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 when the Congress-led UPA was in power, saying the then government could have sent its planes but that is "not the right approach". A second unnamed U.S. official corroborated the claim to the magazine.


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