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Pakistan military urges India to tell the 'truth' on downing of PAF F-16

Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said it was time India came clean on "false claims", including the second aircraft shot down by Pakistan

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Pulwama attack
A scene of the spot after militants attacked a CRPF convoy in Goripora area of Awantipora town in Pulwama district | Photo: PTI

military Friday called on India to "speak the truth" about the "actual losses" in an aerial between the nuclear-armed neighbours, after a leading US magazine questioned India's claim that one of its fighter jets shot down a Pakistani on February 27.

military spokesperson Major General said it was time India came clean on "false claims", including the second aircraft shot down by

"Truth always prevails. Time for India to speak the truth about false claims and actual losses on their side including the second aircraft shot down by Pakistan," Ghafoor said.

His remarks came after a report in US-based Foreign Policy magazine, quoting two senior American defence officials with direct knowledge of the situation, said the US personnel recently counted Pakistan's F-16s and found none of the planes missing.

"The findings directly contradict the account of officials, who said that Wing Commander managed to shoot down a Pakistani before his own plane was downed by a Pakistani missile," the report said.

After the aerial confrontation, India said one of its fighter jets downed a Pakistani before itself being shot down on February 27. The pilot of that jet Varthaman was captured by Pakistan and handed over to India on March 1 in an effort to de-escalate the crisis.

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 jet during the engagement, a claim India has dismissed.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's district on February 14.

India launched a counter-terror operation against a JeM training camp in in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

First Published: Fri, April 05 2019. 16:30 IST