Karachi/Mumbai: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has blamed the BJP for ‘whipping up war hysteria’ over claims that India shot down a Pakistani F-16 during a standoff in February. He said ‘truth is always the best policy’.
A couple of days back the US.-based ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine, citing US officials, said all of Pakistan’s F-16 combat jets had been accounted for, contradicting an Indian Air Force assessment that it had shot down one of the jets.
“The truth always prevails and is always the best policy,” Khan said in a tweet. “BJP’s attempt to win elections through whipping up war hysteria and false claims of downing a Pak F 16 has backfired with US Defence officials also confirming that no F16 was missing from Pakistan’s fleet.”
‘Foreign Policy’ said in a report published Thursday two US defence officials with direct knowledge of the matter said that a count had been done of Pakistan’s F-16s and found none missing.
Details of the India-Pakistan air engagement have not been fully provided by either side. If the US report turns out to be true, it would be a further blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had said that India had taught Pakistan a lesson, ahead of elections next week.
BJP spokesman Bizay Sonkar Shastri however, dismissed Khan’s accusations. “First, their (Pakistan’s) habit of lying is no secret to the world. Secondly, this is absolutely clear that the roots of terrorism lie in Pakistan and terrorism is cultivated in Pakistan,” he told this agency Saturday.