While India has confirmed that a pilot of MiG-21 Bison that was involved in thwarting an attack by PAF is missing and that the IAF has shot down a Pakistani F-16, the MEA is yet to ascertain the facts pertaining to pilot Abhinandan Varthaman
New Delhi: Pakistan Army on Wednesday claimed to have captured Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. According to the Indian side, he took off in a MiG-21 Bison jet but has not returned so far.
Claiming his capture, Pakistan Army put out a video of Varthaman on social media, which has created an uproar on the platform.
MEA spokesman confirmed that India had lost one MiG-21 Bison aircraft and its pilot was missing in action but did not confirm the veracity of Pakistani claim.
In the video, a blindfolded man wearing a flight suit can be seen identifying himself and giving out his service number, as per protocol for captured officers during conflicts.
The blindfolded man can be seen bleeding from a possible head injury, requesting his captors to identify themselves.
The video was released after a press conference held by a spokesman of the Pakistan armed forces Major General Asif Ghafoor.
Reacting to Pakistan's claim, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman said, "Pakistan responded this morning by using air force, targeting military units. Their attempts was foiled successfully."
The ministry confirmed that, in the aerial engagement, one Pakistani aircraft was shot down by IAF's MiG-21 Bison. He further added that an Indian aircraft had crashed and, unfortunately, one pilot is missing in action.
The spokesman said that India's ground forces reported that they saw a Pakistani F-16, which was shot down by the IAF, falling on the Pakistani side of the border.
"An IAF pilot is missing and Pakistan is claiming that they have captured him. We are trying to ascertain the fact," the MEA official said.
The video has gone viral on the internet, but the Pakistan Army has deleted it from its Twitter handle.
Read Exclusive COVID-19 Coronavirus News updates, at MyNation.
Last Updated Feb 27, 2019, 5:15 PM IST