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US magazine rejects Indian claim of downing Pakistani F-16

WASHINGTON: A leading US magazine Foreign Policy on Friday rejected Indian claim of shooting down Pakistani F-16 during recent escalation in February.

Two senior US defense officials having direct knowledge of the situation told the magazine that US personnel recently counted F-16s in Pakistan and found none of them missing.

The magazine said, India has once again misled the world through baseless and false claims.

The findings directly contradict the account of Indian Air Force officials, who said Indian air force shot down a Pakistani F-16 in recent dogfight.

One of the senior US defense officials maintained that Pakistan invited the United States to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end-user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalized.

Read more: ‘Immaterial’ whether F-16 or JF-17 downed Indian aircraft: ISPR

However, the defense official dismissing Indian point of view said the agreement did not involve any terms limiting the use of the F-16s.

Earlier, CNN in its report said that JF-17 fighter jet of Pakistan shot down Indian warplane MiG 21 in Azad and Jammu Kashmir last week.

“It may have been one of those jets that on Wednesday downed an Indian Air Force fighter plane, leading to the capture by Pakistan of an Indian pilot [Abhinandan Varthaman]” said the CNN report.

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