The government of the United States (US) has refused to share information with India regarding the use of F-16 fighter jets by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during a recent air combat, the Indian media reported.
“Soon after we were informed by the Indian side about Pakistan using F-16 aircraft on Feb 27, we informed the Indians that we will not be sharing any information on the subject as it is a bilateral matter between the US and Pakistan,” a US official told Indian Express.
Further explaining the matter, the official said that US position was not India or Pakistan-specific. “If a third country tomorrow wants information about the C130 or C17 or Apaches that the IAF uses, our answer would be the same. It is a bilateral matter between India and the US,” he added.
According to the US official, “while India shared inputs which suggested the use of F-16 fighter jets by Pakistan, it has neither presented any evidence nor asked for any inputs about the shooting down of an F-16 by the IAF on February 27. He said the only evidence he has seen was “what was presented in the Indian media,” he told the Indian media outlet.
The Indian Air Force had complained to the Pentagon in March that Pakistan had violated the end-user agreement on F-16 by employing the jets for attacking India in Feb 27 dogfight.
However, the Pakistani military’s media wing, Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR), had said: “As regards how to use F-16, in what context (they) were used or not — because at that point of time our entire Air Force was airborne — it remains between Pakistan and the US to see how the MoUs (memorandums of understanding) regarding the use of F-16 have been adhered to or otherwise.”