A joint press conference was held today by Air Vice Marshall RGK Kapoor, Navy Rear Admiral DS Gujral and Major General Surendra Singh Mahal to address the events of the past 24 hours which saw Wing Commander Abhinandan being taken into Pakistani custody when his aircraft was shot down. The conference comes a few hours after Pakistan PM Imran Khan announced that Abhinandan would be released tomorrow as a “peace initiative”.
The three expressed their happiness that Abhinandan was returning home tomorrow. They said one Pakistani F16 had been shot down by an IAF MiG 21 Bison, parts of which have been recovered.
The Indian Air Force says there is enough evidence to show Pakistan used F16s to “target Indian military installations”. Pakistan has claimed otherwise. Indian Express reports that this usage would “violate US sale conditions of not letting Pakistan use F-16s in an offensive role”. Major General Mahal also said: “Pakistan has targeted our military installations. They have escalated matters. If they provoke us any further, we are prepared for exigencies.” He also said Pakistan had engaged in “unprovoked ceasefire violations”.
Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor said evidence of the usage of F16s was found in their “electronic signatures”. “Parts of AMRAAM, air to air missile which is carried only on the Pakistani F-16s was recovered east of Rajouri within the Indian territory.”
The IAF said there was “blatant disinformation” apart from the F16s by Pakistan, who first claimed two IAF aircraft were shot down and three pilots down, which was later changed to two aircraft and two pilots. It said Pakistan’s claim of “intentionally dropping weapons in open space with no human presence” was disinformation as well as they had been “intercepted” first by India.
DS Gujral said the Navy was being “vigilant” to prepare for any “misadventure” by Pakistan on sea.
The Indian Air Force has released an official statement as well.