American defence major Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-16 fighter jet, Saturday rejected a Pakistani official’s remark that it was going to sue India for “wrongly claiming” that one of its planes was shot down by MiG-21 Bison during an aerial fight in Jammu and Kashmir.
The clarification came after several Pakistani media outlets, including civil officials, shared the information about the lawsuit. The Pakistan media’s claim was also tweeted by Pakistan censor board chairman Danyal Gilani, who deleted the tweet after Lockheed Martin’s clarification.
“Lockheed Martin has made no such comments,” the Indian subsidiary of the company wrote in response to Gilani’s tweet. Responding to the company, Gilani in his defence said, “I acknowledge the statement is wrongly attributed to you. I picked it from a website. However, I stand by Govt of India’s failure to prove it downed a Pakistani F-16 jet.”
Thank you @LMIndiaNews. I acknowledge the statement is wrongly attributed to you. I picked it from a website. I take it back. However, I stand by Govt of #India‘s failure to prove it downed a #Pakistani F-16. Indian media & journalists have caught #Indian govt disinformation.
— Danyal Gilani (@DanyalGilani) March 2, 2019
Both India and Pakistan are locked in a war of words over the use of F-16 jet. While India claims that Pakistan used the F-16 jet to violate the Indian air space and attempt air strikes in Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad has rejected any such notion —as any such admission would violate US sale conditions of not letting Pakistan use F-16s in an offensive role.
In a joint presser on Thursday, the Indian armed forces presented evidence to prove that Pakistan deployed US-made F-16 fighter jets and was downed by IAF. It displayed parts of an AMRAAM beyond visual range air-to-air missile which is carried only on the F-16s in PAF as evidence. It has also shared the information with American interlocutors to bolster its case about misuse of the fighter aircraft against India.
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