In a massive blow to Pakistan, the United States on Thursday has reprimanded Pakistan for the misuse of F16 fighter jets, according to US news reports. Reports state that a top American diplomat had written to the Pakistan air force chiefs in August accusing them of misusing US-supplied F-16 fighter jets. Moreover, the diplomat has reprimanded the Pakistan airforce for jeopardising the shared security between the US and Pakistan, as per reports.
Reports state that the letter written by Andrea Thompson, then-undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs was in response to the use of F-16 jets to enter Indian airspace in February. The letter reportedly relayed the unapproved use of F-16s and accompanying American-made missiles. It warned the Pakistanis that their behavior risked allowing these weapons to fall into the wrong hands.
Earlier in October, Indian Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria stated that one of the major achievements in the last few months was the Balakot Airstrike in Pakistan. While conceding that India lost a MiG-21, he reiterated that Pakistan had also lost the F-16. This has been a bone of contention between the two countries, with Pakistan refusing to accept the loss of its fighter jet.
He said, “On February 26 of this year, the Indian Air Force successfully struck terrorist camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted the Pakistani Air Force's attempt to attack our military establishment. In the aerial engagement that followed they lost an F-16 and we lost a MiG-21. In recent years, there have been major changes in the geopolitical environment leading to uncertainties that have created numerous challenges to national security".
After 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were martyred in the suicide attack carried out by the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14 this year, India retaliated by striking its Balakot terror camp on February 26. Pakistan refused to admit any damage to the site and instead, tried to attack Indian military installations. However, on several occasions, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan betrayed the extent of paranoia and terror which the airstrikes had caused in his nation's military establishment circles. Recently, the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat revealed that the Balakot base camp had been reactivated.