As per a report published in an American magazine, The Foreign Policy, US counted the number of F-16’s Pakistan has, and found none of them were missing. All the fighter planes were “present and accounted for”.
The finding of the US magazine contradicts India’s claim that the Indian Air Force shot down an F-16 fighter jet during an aerial dogfight on the 27th of February. The Indian Air Force on 28th February displayed pieces of the AMRAAM missile, fired by a Pakistani F-16, as evidence to “conclusively” prove that Pakistan deployed US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets during an aerial raid targeting Indian military installations in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan has categorically denied that one of its planes had been downed by the IAF, and maintained that no F-16 fighter jets were used in the combat.
According to the magazine, Pakistan invited the United States to physically count its F-16 planes after the incident as part of an end user agreement signed when the foreign military sale was finalized.
The count of the F-16 fighter planes in Pakistan has been completed, and “all aircraft were present and accounted for,” an unnamed defense official was quoted as saying by the magazine. The US Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a questions on its count of F-16 fighter jets in Pakistan.
As per the agreement, the US requires the receiving country, in this case Pakistan to allow its officials to inspect the equipment regularly to ensure it is accounted for and protected.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Pakistan based terrorist outfit, JeM’s suicide bomber exploded himself killing 40 security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on the 14th of February. India then launched a counter terror operation against a JeM training camp in Balakot on the 26th of February. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downing an Indian MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on the 1st of March.