One senior personnel each from Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy addressed a joint-press briefing on Thursday, elaborating on the infiltration attempt by Pakistan in Indian airspace, and India's swift response to them.
Air Vice Marshall RGK Kapoor, representing the Air Force, cleared all the doubts, if there were any, that Pakistan had entered Indian airspace and tried to bomb army establishments.
"On 27 February, 2019 at around 10:00 am, IAF radars detected a large package of Pakistan Air Force aircraft heading towards Indian territory....They breached the Indian airspace, west of Rajouri.....IAF fighters, including MiG 21, Sukhoi 30 and Mirage 2000 were tasked to intercept the intruding Pakistan aircraft. The Pakistan Air Force aircraft attempting to target our military installations were intercepted by the IAF fighter aircraft which foiled their attack. Although bombs were fallen on army formation compounds, however, they were unable to cause any damage to installations. In the aerial combat that ensued, 1 F-16 of Pakistan Air Force was shot down by an IAF MiG Bison 21. The F-16 crashed and fell at PoK. The IAF lost one MiG 21 in the aerial engagement, and though the pilot ejected safely, his parachute lifted him to the PoK where he was taken into custody," he said.
The senior Air Force personnel then officially exposed one of the number of lies Pakistan had been trying to peddle to save its face in the global arena. Imran Khan's government had maintained that they shot down two IAF jets and captured three pilots. But RGK Kapoor dismissed all such claims, revealing what exactly had happened.
"There have been many factually incorrect statements made by Pakistan....First was that two IAF were shot and three pilots were down. This figure was later revised downwards to two IAF and two pilots.....Pakistan later in the evening changed its statement to say one Indian pilot was in their custody," the Air Vice Marshall added.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan and the Pakistan army had claimed that they had infiltrated Indian airspace only to prove a point that they are capable of retaliating. Republic TV exposed this very lie by the neighboring country after it accessed the wreckage of F-16 in India. And the Air Force officially confirmed what Republic TV had reported.
The Air Vice Marshall maintained that Pakistan had entered Indian territory to bomb army establishments, and only some swift action by the Air Force negated the threat.
"Pakistan claimed that they intentionally dropped weapons in open places where there was no human presence or military post. The fact is Pakistan Air Force aircraft targeted military installations. However, they were intercepted by IAF aircrafts, which thwarted their plans....They were unable to cause significant damage due to swift response," RGK Kapoor mentioned.
Another fake narrative which was being spread by Pakistan was that no F-16 was used during this operation. But RGK Kapoor exposed this lie as well during the press briefing.
"Pakistan also stated no F-16 was used and no Pakistan plane was downed by the IAF. There is enough evidence to show that F-16s were used in this mission through the electronic signatures....Pakistan is trying to hide this fact.....One F-16 of PAF was shot down by IAF. IAF remains ever vigilant, ready and committed to take on any eventuality," he further said.
Before concluding, the Air Vice Marshall said that the Indian Air Force is delighted with the fact that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman would return to India on Friday.
"IAF has also learnt that Wing Commander Abhinandan will return to India tomorrow. IAF is happy and looks forward to him returning tomorrow," he added before concluding.