Pakistan’s military has for the first time said that JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft developed jointly with China were used in retaliation to India’s pre-emptive strikes on a JeM terror camp in Balakot as it once again denied that US-made F-16 jets were involved in the attack.
Referring to the Balakot airstrike that aimed to eradicate Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps, Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said the Indian jets violated the Pakistani airspace on February 26, dropping payloads without inflicting any casualties or damage to infrastructure. According to Pakistan officials, Indian Air Force has only bombed trees.
“The aircraft which engaged those targets and fought them were JF-17. As regard to how to use F-16, in what context [they] were used or not — because at that point of time our entire Air Force was airborne – now it remains between Pakistan and the US to see how the MoUs regarding the use of F-16 have been adhered to or otherwise,” Ghafoor told Russian news agency Sputnik International.
He said Pakistan only wanted to tell India that it has the capability to hit back. He said Pakistan has the footage of the operation.
“Pakistan holds the position that this capability eliminates the possibility of conventional war. No sane country having this capability would talk about using it,” Radio Pakistan quoted Major General Ghafoor as saying.
Indian armed forces had however displayed parts of an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) fired by an F-16, which fell in Indian territory a day after Pakistan’s attempt to retaliate the Indian Air Force’s airstrike in Balakot.