US based Foreign Policy magazine quoted an unnamed USA defence official as saying that Pakistan had invited the U.S.to "physically count its F-16 planes" after the incident as part of an end-user agreement and after the process "all aircraft were present and accounted for". It did not identify the officers. Images of the fired missile posted by Pakistan Army show that the warhead of a missile had been initiated by a proximity fuse, presumably after hitting the F-16.
"During the aerial engagement that followed, one MiG 21 Bison of the IAF shot down one F-16", Air Vice Marshal RGV Kapoor said Friday, "The Indian Forces have confirmed ejections at two different places on that day".
An Indian jet was brought down during the fight and its pilot captured when he ejected on the Pakistani side of the border.
India and Pakistan engaged in an aerial battle over the disputed region of Kashmir a day after Indian jets crossed over into Pakistan to attack a suspected camp of anti-India militants.
Pakistan's former high commissioner to India Abdul Basit pointed out that the Balakot air strike and the air battle the day after was not the only time New Delhi had misled both Indian citizens and the worldwide community.
There was no Indian or USA official reaction to the report.
Reacting to the report, the IAF asserted that it had shot down an F-16 aircraft of the PAF on February 27 during aerial combat.
The state department distanced itself from the news report saying in response to a direct request to confirm or deny it, "As a matter of policy, the Department does not publicly comment on details of government-to-government agreements on end-use monitoring of US-origin defence articles". Time for India to speak the truth about false claims & actual losses on their side including the second aircraft shot down by Pakistan.
The Pakistani aircraft, according to India, fell on Pakistani territory too.
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The Indian Air Force however said it had proof of shooting down the F16.
Foreign media reports from the site, backed by satellite images, also contradicted Indian claims the February 26 counterterrorism cross-border strike had damaged any structure or killed militant casualties.
However, "the agreement did not involve any terms limiting the use of the F-16s", the magazine quoted the second US defense official as saying.
India has separately asked the United States for its view on whether the use of the F-16s by Pakistan was a violation of the end-user agreement.
Pakistan will release 360 Indian prisoners this month, the foreign office said on Friday, as the nuclear-armed neighbours scale back from a confrontation that prompted world powers to urge restraint.
"All 4 missile seeker heads recovered intact from the wreckage & held".
Varthaman was captured by Pakistan and was released after spending almost 60 hours in Pakistani custody. "We have more truth on this to share", Ghafoor said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan attends talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 2, 2018. They insist the Indian leader orchestrated the military action merely to achieve political gains ahead of the polls.
The survey suggested "three decisions of the Modi government taken between January 7 and February 26 might just have the ability to change the course of an election that just could very well have been a close race".