Military Literature Festival

US scholar disputes IAF claim on shooting down Pak F-16

US scholar disputes IAF claim on shooting down Pak F-16

Political scientist Christine Fair. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14

Asserting that India had the right to bomb Pakistan as it has used terrorists to kill Indian citizens, Christine Fair, a political scientist at Georgetown University, US, today discounted the possibility that India had shot down a Pakistani F-16 in February.

She was speaking at a session on “Understanding the message of Balakot” alongside former Air Chief BS Dhanoa and other Indian experts at the Military Literature Festival here.

She disputed the radar data and various videos of parachutes and debris used as evidence to back claims of the F-16 being shot down. She said the Pakistan aircraft did not have GE engines whereas some Indian experts had claimed that the debris of GE engines had been recovered. Some of her claims were challenged by experts present.

On the Balakot strikes, she said what was important was that Pakistan was hit by Indian ordnance rather than a particular target being destroyed. “No one is questioning that ordnance landed in Pakistan, but other things are highly subjective,” she said, adding that Pakistan never saw the airstrike coming.

Fair said the lessons of the airstrike must be empirically studied on the basis of facts and not on what one wanted to believe. “Some claims being made by either side are far from real and need to be studied deeply for an objective assessment,” she stressed.

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