Pakistan to release 360 Indian prisoners as tensions ease

Pakistan calls for 'truth' from India on aerial dogfight

India's claim of shooting down a Pakistani F-16 in February has been challenged as a report citing unnamed USA officials said that all US-supplied fighter jets to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have been counted and none is missing, reported IANS.

In a tweet today (Saturday), he said the U.S. defence officials have also confirmed that no F-16 was missing from Pakistan's fleet.

The air battle involving the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) took place on 27 February, but some of the details remain unclear as the two sides gave conflicting reports on the matter. The two sightings were at locations separated by at least 8-10 km.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that BJP's attempt to win elections through whipping up war hysteria and false claims of downing a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet has backfired.

On Friday, a number of evidence were listed by the IAF to prove that the jet shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was an F-16 jet of the PAF.

IAF said the Pakistani military communication and the initial statements also suggest that they had lost one aircraft which they claimed to be that of IAF.

The Indian Air Force on Friday asserted that electronic signatures had shown that it shot down an F-16 plane of Pakistan Air Force on February 27, amid claims by an American magazine that no F-16 was missing in the Pakistan armoury.

The Indian Air Force Friday asserted that it shot down an F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan during the February 27 dogfight, refuting a leading United States news magazine report contradicting India's claim. One was an IAF Mig-21 Bison and the other a PAF aircraft.

"It is possible that in the heat of combat, Varthaman, flying a vintage MiG-21 Bison, got a lock on the Pakistani F-16, fired, and genuinely believed he scored a hit". However, around eight seconds later, the F-16 went missing from the graphic screen of the AWACS, reflecting that the jet went down. Promising to expedite early delivery of the equipment to the Pakistani armed forces in 2007, lieutenant-general Jeffrey B. Kohler, chief of the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, had said: "Our country is very sensitive to Pakistan's defense needs".

In a statement on Twitter, PM Khan quoted the scoop of a USA magazine that debunked Indian claims of shooting down a Pakistani F-16 on Feb 27.

She added, "The article that came in "Foreign Policy", many people are calling it baseless".

According to a report in Foreign Policy, a prominent American magazine, a United States count of the F-16 jets with Pakistan has found that none of them is "missing" and all the fighter planes were "present and accounted for".

The writer has it on good authority it seems, though the two U.S. defence officials vouching for the same remain unnamed - weightiness of the issue notwithstanding.

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