A beleaguered Pakistan appears set on redefining the term 'rock bottom' entirely, as after the events of the recent days, when it has time and time again been embarrassed on the world stage by India and also mostly by its own doing, now, F-16 maker Lockheed Martin has entered the fray.
The American aerospace and defence major has left Pakistan with egg on its face by shutting down a top Pakistan government official's statement that India was about to be sued over the shooting down of the Pak Air Force's F-16 fighter jet by IAF's Wing Commander Abhinandan.
Danyal Gilani, a high-ranking Pakistani civil servant who is the Chairman of the country's Censor Board and the director of the Pak Information Minister's Office, had issued a statement (now deleted) on Twitter, where he claimed the following:
"F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin to file lawsuit against false Indian claims & expresses annoyance over the factually incorrect claim of shooting down of Pakistan's F-16 by IAF. Says all F-16s on Pakistani inventory are well counted for."
Essentially, the Pakistan government thought it had found a backer in its attempt to:
a) Deny that it had sent F-16s into India, in contravention of the terms under which it acquired them - i.e. to be used only on Pakistan's Western front.
b) Deny that India had shot one of its planes down
However, as with most things that Pakistan has tried to do since February 26, when India conducted precision strikes against Pak terror factories across the LoC, it has ended up shooting itself in the foot.
Lockheed Martin India replied directly to the tweet by the Pakistani officer, snubbing him in the most direct way possible:
To compound the embarrassment, the Pak government official tried to pin the blame on a report he had been careless enough to not validate:
Pakistan has repeatedly attempted to deny that its F-16 wasn't shot down by India's MIG-21 Bison - a much older aircraft - piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan. However, India has provided irrefutable proof of Pak deploying F-16s, discovering a debris component of a AMRAAM missile that had been fired in Pak's attack that can only be fitted into an F-16, as well as by discovering the electronic signature of the F-16 when it made its ingress to Indian airspace on Wednesday. Another narrative by Pakistan, that the missile found by India had really been sold by the US to Taiwan, was similarly dismissed by the Taiwan government.