Yesterday, the three Chiefs of the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy jointly addressed a press conference and exposed Pakistan's lie that no F-16s had been deployed on their retaliatory strike targeting military installations on Wednesday. "There is enough evidence to show F-16s were used in this mission and Pakistan is trying to hide this fact," said Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
A day after the Indian Air Force blew up the terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed across the Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan's Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor yesterday agreed that Pakistan Air Force entered Indian airspace but refuted India's claim of shooting down one of their F-16 aircraft.
The Air Vice Marshal told the media yesterday that parts of one F-16 that was shot down by an IAF MiG 21 Bison have been recovered inside Indian territory. Incidentally, it was Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who managed the feat before his aircraft went down in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Kapoor further displayed the wreckage of an AIM-120C advanced medium range air-to-air (AMRAAM) missile - clearly displaying its contract number -and said that only the F-16s in Pakistan's fleet can fit this missile. India reportedly does not use this missile.
According to The Economic Times, India will be sharing this evidence with the US to emphasise that the neighbouring country is misusing assets it may have acquired under the 'fight against terrorism' banner in 2008. The fighter jets, as per the sale agreement, can only be used for counter-terrorism operations, not to attack any country.
The electronic signatures of the deployed F-16s captured by Indian radars as well as sightings by Indian Army troops on the border, who saw two pilots ejecting from the Pakistani fighter inside PoK, will be part of the evidence to be presented to the US. Besides, the contract number on the wreckage can be tracked by US authorities to understand when they were delivered. Senior air force officers also told the daily that photographs obtained from Pakistani media show parts of the F-16 scattered across the border. Washington has already promised the Indian government all support to de-escalate tensions and in ensuring that Pakistan complies with its commitment to the US.
As for questions being raised on the success of the IAF strike on JeM terror camps on February 26, Kapoor made it clear that the IAF has "evidence to show that whatever we wanted to do and targets we wanted to destroy, we have done that" but the "decision to show the evidence is on senior leadership".