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February 26, 2020

Shooting down Indian MIG-21: PAF marks first anniversary of operation ‘Swift Retort’

National

February 26, 2020

ISLAMABAD: As the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) celebrates first anniversary of the successful operation ‘Swift Retort’ on February 27, the false claims of hitting down PAF’s F-16 still haunts the Indian Air Force (IAF) for lack of any evidence.

A day after the IAF committed misadventure in Balakot area after violating Pakistan’s airspace, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), as a retaliation undertook operation ‘Swift Retort’ hitting down two Indian aircraft on February 27, 2019. “After facing humiliation on February 27, the Indian leadership demonstrated unprofessional attitude and indulged in false propaganda,” the PAF spokesman Air Commodore Syed Ahmer Raza and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Plans), Air Commodore Syed Omar Shah told a media briefing at Air Headquarters on Monday.

According to Indian authorities’ claims, Wing Commander Abhinandan hit down F-16 aircraft before his MIG-21 Bison was shot down by PAF jet fighter but fell short of proving their claims.

The mediapersons were shown all the four missiles including two R-73 and as many R-77 missiles which were recovered from wreckages of the MIG-21 Bison. “This display of these four missiles is evident of the fact that the Indian jet was shot by PAF before it could release any weapon,” Air Commodore Syed Ahmer Raza said.

Out of four missiles found from the wreckages, two weapons are in almost in complete shape while two missiles which were installed in the left wing were partially damage.

On February 27, last year the PAF aircraft without crossing the Line of Control (LoC), earlier, locked four Indian forces’ installation including two brigade headquarters but hit missiles at closer distance to avoid any human loss.

Air Commodore Omar Shah to a question said the PAF aircraft on February 27, locked all the Indian aircraft in the air but shot down two of them as per rules of engagement as decided by country’s leadership. “We acted within the rules of engagement otherwise we could have incurred more loss on the adversary,” he said.

Asked whether, it was Pakistan which invited the US authorities for count of F-16 aircraft which later was found complete, the PAF officer said the activity was part of regular engagement between the countries. However, he said that Pakistan never required to ask anybody for use of any weapon.

Air Commodore Ahmer Raza said the Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan was decorated with the highest gallantry award for what he never did. “They have seen PAF aircraft coming but could not engage them,” he said.