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Dogfight over Pakistan’s 'use and loss of F-16' lands US in awkward spot

WASHINGTON: India is asking the Trump administration to inspect the imaginable misuse of US-made F-16s by means of Pakistan all over its tried air incursion around the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, saying Islamabad could have violated Washington's terms and prerequisites of the sale.

New Delhi has offered extensive testimony by means of American officers to the United States Congress through which they confident lawmakers that Washington has a ''very enhanced end-use monitoring program'' of Pakistan’s F-16s, which has lengthy been an emblem of pride and machismo for the Pakistan Air Force, even though it is now in large part out of date.

The US dedication used to be made in a June 2006 hearing by means of John Hillen, US assistant secretary of state for politico-military affairs within the state division, based on concerns from the House International Relations Committee concerning the imaginable misuse of the fighter jet by means of Pakistan.

Among the assurances provided by means of Hillen used to be that Pakistan will have to agree to authorized safety plans for their F-16-related bases and facilities earlier than the United States would liberate any systems within the sale.

"We will have a US presence to monitor compliance with the security plan requirements, a very enhanced end-use monitoring program,'' Hillen told the committee, outlining ''semi-annual inventories of all F-16 aircraft equipment and munitions, including related technical data, and more frequent inventories for other systems."

Hillen pledged a "two-man rule, so to speak, for access to this equipment and restricted areas, and F-16 flights outside of Pakistan or participation in exercises and operations with third nations must be approved in advance by the United States government."

The US additionally mandated that the F-16 maintenance and portions storage will have to be in dedicated facilities as part of the whole surveillance plan, and there "will be no delivery of F-16 aircraft equipment and munitions until Pakistan is fully compliant with the security plan requirements."

The assurances recommend Washington can simply determine if Pakistan used the F16s in its air assault on India with the imaginable lack of one F16 that New Delhi says used to be shot down by means of the MiG-21 Bison. After preliminary stories that F-16 jets have been involved within the assault, Pakistan has briefly sponsored down and claimed most effective its China-developed JF-17 airplane used to be used.

However, New Delhi’s presentation of portions of an Amraam missile discharged on its territory has put Pakistan in a place.

"Evidence of the use of Amraam Missile, which can only be deployed on the F-16 with Pakistan, has also been shown to the media. We have asked the United States to also examine whether the use of F16 against India is in accordance with the terms and conditions of sale," India’s external affairs ministry mentioned in a commentary on Saturday.

The commentary additionally mentioned Pakistan will have to provide an explanation for why it continues to deny that its F-16 airplane has been shot down when there are eye-witness accounts and electronic proof, and if, as Pakistan claims, a 2d Indian airplane used to be shot down, why it has not shown the fuselage or produced the pilot of that airplane.

Pakistan to start with claimed to have shot down two Indian jets, and a few videos posted on-line showed two pilots bailing out. Subsequent stories spoke of one in every of them being the pilot of a Pakistani F-16 who used to be crushed to dying by means of a mob that mistook him for an Indian pilot.

There have been additionally fervid stories within the Pakistani media that Israel used to be involved within the assault and an Israeli pilot had been captured by means of Pakistan.

The Trump administration has not addressed the issue of the F-16 use or loss by means of Pakistan past saying it is having a look into the matter.

The fourth-generation fighter jet made by means of Lockheed Martin has lengthy been the mainstay of the Pakistan Air Force (and lots of different air forces the world over), and the company has in recent years presented to shift all of the production line to India to stay it extant.

The dogfight over F16 use/misuse came whilst US officers and armed forces commanders trod a delicate line on Pakistan’s endured patronage of terrorism in view of Islamabad’s position in bringing the Taliban to the desk to permit an American go out from Afghanistan.

The US Centcom Commander Gen Joseph Votel advised American lawmakers last week that "Pakistan based groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyiba threaten India and carry out attacks that jeopardize regional stability and US strategic interests" but mentioned Pakistan presents both demanding situations and opportunities and its cooperation is "imperative for the success of our South Asia strategy."

The US South Asia strategy essentially offers India primacy within the area.

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