Earlier on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force successfully thwarted Pakistan's attempt to attack Indian military installations in retribution for the IAF striking its terror bases across the Line of Control on February 26.
The Pakistani F-16s had tried to target the Indian military bases in Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Not only did the Indian Air Force manage to prevent the Pakistan Forces from fulfilling their mission, but it also shot down one of Pakistan's F-16s.
Shortly after the F-16 versus MIG-21 Bison air-battle, Pakistan claimed that it had two IAF pilots in its custody. This was partially confirmed by the Indian government, which in its joint briefing with the IAF stated that during the operation one Indian MIG 21 had been lost and its pilot was indeed in Pakistan's custody. No mention was made of a second pilot despite Pakistan's insistence.
The reason for this was revealed hours later, after Pakistan made a U-turn, amending its claim to having taken only one Indian pilot into custody. Republic TV has learnt that in a classic case of Pakistan being its own worst enemy, the second pilot it had claimed to belong to the IAF and had taken into custody was actually one of its own. Pakistan's so-called 'second IAF pilot' was actually the one who had ejected from the Pakistan Air Force's F-16 aircraft which was shot down by Indian Air Force.
Addressing a joint news briefing of the MEA and the IAF, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed that Indian military bases had been the target of Pakistan's F-16s in Jammu and Kashmir's Nowshera sector on Wednesday morning at around 10:30 am, but with Indian forces in a state of readiness given the situation, the incursion was detected and foiled.
"In the aerial engagement, one Pakistani fighter was shot down by a MIG-21 Bison", the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson stated, adding that the Pakistani Aircraft was seen by ground forces crashing in Pakistan's territory.
However, in the anti-Pak operation, one Indian MIG-21 was lost, with the pilot currently missing in action.
"We have unfortunately lost one MIG-21. The Pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed the pilot in its custody. We are ascertaining the facts", the MEA spokesperson said before concluding the press briefing.