Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor in an interview with Russian state-owned news agency, once again rejected India’s claims that Pakistan used US-made F-16 to down Indian aircraft in late February, stating that PAC JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft developed jointly with China were used instead.
“The aircraft which engaged those targets and fought them were JF-17. As regard to how to use F-16, in what context [they] were used or not — because at that point of time our entire Air Force was airborne — now it remains between Pakistan and the US to see how the MoUs regarding the use of F-16 have been adhered to or otherwise,” Maj Gen Ghafoor said.
“Since we have gone overtly nuclear, as India also, in 1998, our stance is that this capability eliminates the possibility of conventional war between the two states. So that is to say, this is a weapon of deterrence and a political choice. No sane country having this capability would talk about using it,” Maj Gen Ghafoor said. “Pakistan will undertake anything which is based on equality. You cannot tie the hands of Pakistan and keep India open. Anything that happens should happen for both countries,” he stressed.
While refereeing to Indian violation of air space, the DG ISPR said the Indian jets violated the Pakistani airspace on February 26, dropping payloads without inflicting any casualties or damage to infrastructure.
“Next day, our Air Force, while staying within our own airspace, took four targets in India-occupied Kashmir… Being a responsible country, we could have caused damage even to the military installations or human life… But we had to show our will, capability and resolve. So what we did — we first chose the targets, and when the targets were locked by the aircraft, we shifted the point of impact to a safety distance where there was no infrastructure or human life, meaning thereby that we wanted to tell Indians that we had the capability to hit that military target, but in the entrust of the peace of the region we are only showing you our capability,” he said.
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