Indian ruling party whipping up war hysteria to win polls: Imran

     
April 7, 2019
ISLAMABAD: The ruling party in India is trying to whip up a war hysteria to mobilise mass support to win the forthcoming parliamentary elections there, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has alleged.

Accusing the BJP, the party leading a coalition at the Central Government in India, of making false claims of downing a Pakistani F-16 fighter during the February aerial skirmishes between the two countries, as part of war- mongering by India, Imran Khan said the US had made a physical count of the fighters in Pakistani fleet and found none missing.

"The truth always prevails and is always the best policy. BJP's attempt to win elections through whipping up war hysteria and false claims of downing a Pak F 16 has backfired with US Defence officials also confirming that no F16 was missing from Pakistan's fleet," the Pakistani Prime Minister said in a tweet.

Imran Khan was quoting from American magazine 'Foreign Policy' which reported last week that the US had made a count of the F-16 fighters it had sold to Pakistan to check the veracity of allegations of violations of the terms of purchase contract in the combat with IAF. According to the report, Pentagon officials told the publication that no fighter was found missing in the verification conducted by the Americans and that the Indian Air Force's claims of downing an F-16 in the February 27 aerial combat was false.

However, the IAF challenged the Foreign policy version. It reiterated that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down a Pakistani F-16 before his MiG-21 was downed by a Pakistani missile. Abhinandan landed in Pakistani territory and was taken into custody by Pakistani army.

As proof of intrusion by F-16, India produced wreckage of AMRAAM missiles which could be loaded only on F-16s.

The February 27 aerial battle was the fallout of Indian Air Force attack on a terrorist camp in Balakot, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, beyond the Pak-occupied Kashmir. The Indian action was triggered by the terrorist bomb attack on a convoy of CRPF moving from Jammu to Srinagar on February 14, killing 40 jawans. India believes that the frequent terrorist attacks, especially in Kashmir, are sponsored by Pakistan's ISI to back up the violent, separatist movement in Jammu and Kashmir. The Government of India accuses Pakistan of barbouring terrorists and shielding terrorist training camps inside its territory. Masood Azhar-led Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) had claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama.

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