*KARACHI: Diplomatic sources on Monday said Pakistan was entitled to use US-made F-16 fighter aircraft for its defence against any country.*
The sources said as per the deal with the United States, the country was not restricted to use the fighter jet against any country.
“Pakistan has not bought F-16 jets as a decoration piece,” they added.
The sources said the US had not contacted on alleged use of F-16 even after passage of three weeks of Pakistan’s striking down Indian aircrafts upon their violation of the Line of Control (LoC).
India had claimed that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) used F-16 in the dogfight on February 27. While a CNN report had revealed earlier this month that JF-17 fighter jet of Pakistan shot down Indian warplane MiG 21 in Azad and Jammu Kashmir.
The JF-17 is a Chinese-designed fighter jet produced jointly by Pakistan and China. The CNN report had said an American diplomat said Washington wanted to know if Pakistan used a US-built F-16 jet to shoot the plane.
“It may have been one of those jets that on Wednesday downed an Indian Air Force fighter plane, leading to the capture by Pakistan of an Indian pilot [Abhinandan Varthaman]” the CNN report had said.
The Indian fighter jet was a MiG-21, a Soviet-designed aircraft,which has been in use since the 1960s. The MiG-21 “forms the backbone” of the Indian Air Force, which has about 200 of those in its inventory, the report noted.