Wednesday, February 1, 2023
HomeWorldPakistan propaganda on role of JF-17s post-Balakot now exposed by its own...

Pakistan propaganda on role of JF-17s post-Balakot now exposed by its own ex-air commodore

Pakistan had claimed that it was an ‘indigenous’ JF-17 that shot down IAF’s MiG-21 Bison, even putting out a video of one of the pilots.

Text Size:

New Delhi: A former high-ranking Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officer has exposed the propaganda of his military, saying that it was indeed an F-16 that shot down Wing Commander Abhinandan Vathaman’s MiG-21 Bison on 27 February, a day after the Balakot air strikes by the IAF. This has also raised fresh speculation about the ‘missing’ PAF pilot.

The claim was made by Air Commodore M. Kaiser Tufail (retd) in his blog earlier this month.

“Abhinandan’s MiG-21 was hit by an AIM-120C missile launched from an F-16 flown by Wg Cdr Nauman Ali Khan, the Officer Commanding of No 29 ‘Aggressor’ Squadron, and also the overall mission leader,” Tufail wrote.

The retired officer said two JF-17s involved in the attack were each armed with two Mk-83 Range Extension Kit (REK), an air-to-surface bomb. This implies that the JF-17s could not have used this weapon to shoot down an aircraft.

Tufail’s blog is contrary to what the Pakistani military had claimed — that it was an “indigenous” JF-17 that shot down the Indian jet. It had even put out a video of one of the pilots who shot down the IAF aircraft as standing next to the China-Pakistan developed jet.

The IAF had claimed that it had shot down an F-16 aircraft. The IAF officials have maintained that a JF-17 could not have brought down a MiG-21 Bison. Pakistan never admitted to this.

Immediately after the attack, it had claimed to have captured two Indian pilots. Varthaman was one of the two pilots. Later, Pakistan made a U-turn to say that only one pilot was in its custody, leading to speculation that the other pilot was actually a Pakistani shot down by Varthaman.

Also read: Was it US’ F-16 or China’s JF-17 that ‘downed’ MiG 21 Bison piloted by Abhinandan?

‘Missing pilot’

Tufail also put out a “Roll of Honour” — a list of officers who were involved in the operation — setting the cat among the pigeons.

The roll call identified only Squadron Leader Hasan Siddiqui as the pilot of F-16B, which is a twin-seater aircraft. This has led to a huge speculation within the online community in India about the fate of the second ‘missing’ pilot.

The retired Air Commodore, however, posted a few FAQs, including why names of all pilots have not been mentioned.

“The Roll of Honour only includes those who launched weapons, or controlled them post-launch. It does not include airborne reserves. Similarly, the numerous pilots performing fighter sweep or CAPs are not mentioned, as they did not get an opportunity to launch weapons. Finally, the aircrew of AEWCS and EW aircraft have not been included. The contribution of all participating aircrew has, however, been duly lauded by the PAF,” he wrote.

An IAF source, though, pointed out that that the second pilot of an F-16 has his own duties and is part of the same combat unit.

“Hence the Air Commodore not mentioning the second pilot’s name is surprising and very suspicious,” the source said.

Also read: In PAF lies & subterfuge, an F-16 tail number & a PAF pilot  —  both hidden to serve a myth


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. Sajad Haider… smoking pot is not good for ur health…halucinating about your defeated air Force :)..get well soon

  2. since I fought two wars against IAF and held key pperational command positions my comment will not be hearsay, certainly not the kind of abusive, inferiority complex oozing by the Indian opinion, Nay tripe n culmination.
    Indians are not into history which is the mirror of present n especially prospect. this PHILIP fellow reads like a typical Brit. unless a local Indian, needs a glimpse into air battles of the two antagonists.
    1. in Feb 1958 the Indian Ambassador and his entire military staff were entertained to a spectacle to their n no less the Americans n Brit. observer’s jaw dropping shock n awe. 16 F86 fighters came roaring down in tight precise close formation and performed a diamond formation loop, creating the world military aviation record in history..
    2. a few months later on Eid day as believers were bowed to Almighty Allah at prayer, I was called by my sqdn duty pilot saying a Hot Scramble had been ordered by Airdefence. I told him I am way. As I peddled down at mach 1 bicycle, huffing reached the sqdn and heard the roar of 2 F86s rolling down the runway. I contacted F.o. RabbNawaz the AD controller on duty and asked what’s up. Indian bomber at 42,000 feet approaching Rawalpindi, photo mission, but told me to wait as he was conducting the interception. I wondered that F86 ceiling for aerial firing was 20,000 ft at maximum. so waited with bates breath. 20 mts passed when the AD land line buzzed. Sir, F.O. Yunis has shot down an Indian Canberra photographing out military installation in all probability. smart move by Indian Lala to chose Eid day n time n height above F86 operational ceiling. But forgot to factor in the formidable spirit of PAF warriors. Both pilot n navigator bailed out, legs fractured during chute touch down..treated at CMH and we bade good by as both said they wished they could stay longer as the hospitality was fantastic n food to mach especillay the Steaks.
    3. may 1965, a French Oragan fighter was taking photos in Kutch area after the Pak brig. routed Indian div. maurauders from our territory. Oragan was quickly intercepted n air arrested as he surrendered n made to land at Jangshahi near Kcy.
    3. Sept. 1965, IAF Gnat fighter flown by sqdn.cdr. was forced to land at Pasroor.
    4. 1965 war stats by Award winning authors PVS Jagan Mohan;Samir Chopra; Pushpinder Singh, famous historian, Ravi Rakiey record IAF Losses by aircraft tail nbrs. and pilots names, 73 lost, 1965. PAF LOSSES 17. I myself was leading the first attack on Pathankot where my Falcons destroyed 13 aircraft. Dacca Single sqdn destroyed 10 Indian Canberra and Vampires mix.
    5. 1971 war. East wing one sqdn. one runway only but air warrior and gallant gunners facing 11 IAF sqdns destroyed 21 IAF. INDIAN historian in new book Eagles over East Pakistan, flew 2001 air missions n could not destroy a, single PAF F86 on.ground. we lost 3 in.air action in east and 18 in the west. IAF LOSSES RECORDED BY INDIAN HISTORIANS N ON BHARSTRAKSHAK 74 lost.
    We were 1/3rd the size of IAF their attrition by us was 3.5 times. Now Philip should permutate and eat some dust. I will host him to visit PAF museum n show him all the trophies mentioned here. I will pay for his travel, board n.lodge. our hospitality is legendary, ASK W.CDR. ABI of the recent Mig 21 episode. weather shot by F16 or a cassana is irrelevant n obtuse minds get into silly nitpicking.
    Rafael is just another metal piece, we have not a sliver of concern and Modi should read history but being illiterate Philip can read this out to him to beware : Pakistan ke sath PANGA LO GAY TO History will repeat with much greater velocity, ferocity n accuracy.
    we will repeat Pathankot, Wagha, Kalaikunda again and again n many more MM Alams the sentinels to take 4 of IAF at a time.
    next with Rafael’s Diwali we promise the French will get lot more orders n biz like Brits got selling more Hunters.
    Table Talk is the answer. Dont get poor emancipated soldiers and Piots killed for Modi to.continud Fascists demented genocide.

    This history

  3. I like how pakistanis try to come here and claim this all to be fake when there country is known to spread lies and support terrorism they talk about how we are spreading propaganda well what you can expect from a bunch a pig porki terrorist they talk about how modi was involved in the killing of muslims but they won’t talk about the reason behind which led to it which was the godhra train burning which was led by a mob of muslims killing the hindu pilgrims these pigs like to always speak half the story and then ignore the rest like its doesn’t even exist ,there army controls the country and feed them lies about india they talk about killing of innocent kashmirs i like how this fools defy terrorist supports and stone petlars as innocent and i like how they talk about rape when there country is known for raping and killing 3 lakh bangladeshis and then they talk about how we failed the operation when there own people from POK are admitting to have seen bodies been taking away by ambulance’s from where the bombs were droped but why believe them they will believe in what there fake media feeds them these porki pigs try to insult our PM well what you can expect from guys who voted for a pm they call visionary but turned out to be a beggar who begs for money from other countries people are becoming illetrate in porkistan reason droping litercy rate and faling economy like the beggars porkis are becoming you expect a little jealously from them by looking at our countries success ,these guys will never listen only thing they are good at is barking propaganda these is the anger they are removing after lossing 7 times with india in the world cup 😂😂😂

  4. Crux of the blog:

    Tailpiece: The Indian Prime Minister’s whimper (quoted in India Today, 3 March 2019) that, “if we had the Rafale, things would have been different,” begs a question: “Why did you step in the ring if you weren’t prepared, Modi jee?” Clearly, the Indian Prime Minister miscalculated Pakistan’s resolve and ability to pay back promptly, and in kind.

  5. When you run out of arguments and can’t face the truth then you start abusing. This is what I’m seeing here from the Indian comments. None of them is sensible enough to see things by putting aside a Hindutva or a warmongering mindset.

    Self-shooting of MI-17 is a slap on the face of all those who are proudly cheering for the failed attempts of IAF.

  6. Let those who comment on this column are kindly requested to view the British made serial “Mind your Language” of 1970’s that mocks both Indians and Pakistanis of their rivalry. More than four decades have passed, economic fortunes have moved from west to east that gave way for greater prosperity to countries like India, yet we Indians and Pakistanis have not changed which is evident from the ongoing discussions in this forum. Please be mature enough guys! Kindly stop such petty fights. Concentrate on more important issues that threaten our countries.

  7. I’d conclude things here from the statement of the great Mr. Modi (the man behind the Massacre of Muslims in Gujrat and Ahemdabad)

    “If India has procured Rafales earlier, the outcome of the events would be in India’s favor”. Mr. Modi Lulli.

    Ask your PM how they were beaten up. Forget about if its JF-17 or F-16. PAF struck well and struck deep with SOWs and BVRs.

  8. Haha just look the Twitter hash tag Pakistan strike back😂can’t control my laughing😄😄😄where is shahabaz ud-din Mr imran khan? Yea that’s is your f16 pilot where is he? Please don’t fool your civilians…… The people from Pakistan think that your Pakistan win a war against India😂😂😂

  9. If India were to escalate the following pulwama attack, then they would not have attacked the terrorists camp at balakot,or would had used ground forces simultaneously. Your PM is begging for peace and talks and you people don’t have a pie to feed your people. Your economy in shambles. You can talk big only instead of doing things.

  10. No one takes pakis statements seriously. They invariably win all wars, never suffer any loss of war machines or casualties, deny existence of terror camps, n most brazen when caught red handed with osa bin Laden nestling in comfort near the garrison town. The key points are whatever happened to two pilots who we’re seen parachuting down, n grandiosly n with the usual condescending bluster this caricature of a major general declared to b teceiving treatment in an army hospital, how n why nuclear sabre rattling has stopped, why abhinandan was released post haste without milking him to the last drop n extracting thr lousy pound of flesh, why pak fm pleaded for de escalation next morning using abhinandan as a pawn, why massod azhar was declared terrorist post balakot pleas for which were falling in deaf ears since eons, why pak is being threatened with balcklisting in fatf, why Saudi kings emissary had to fly in that fateful night to pak? Pray tell me. My only request to pakis look at ur state, ur economy, ur status internationally n ur near vassal stage of existence via a vis China.

  11. Going by the number of comments here, it seems Pakistanis lap up what The Print dishes out more than the Indians do. Point to be noted M/s Snehashis / S. Gupta.

    To the Pakistani commentators here, it isn’t as if our armed forces don’t like to conceal or don’t conceal issues / losses or even that our political leadership is transparent or honest but that India has built up institutions – more robust, powerful and enduring than Pakistan ever has or will. These include to begin with – a parliament duly elected every 5 years, a functioning opposition, an independent judiciary, a free press etc.

    Now compare this to Pakistan where the only enduring robust & powerful institution is the Pakistan Army and it’s cultivated deep state via the ISI, etc. This in turn has acted as a parasite does to its host and has destroyed / subverted every institution that makes a functioning democracy durable. No wonder your people look up to the army in times of need. There’s no other institution worth the name left in the field.

    Now coming back to India , It’s due to these institutions, that in built mechanisms ensure nothing is concealed. We declared the loss of a MiG 21 and capture of our pilot the very same time it happened as we did the loss of a Mi 17 helo. In fact speculations of the helo being brought down by friendly fire were rife in the media since day 1 – a fact confirmed a few months later by an internal inquiry by the IAF. I hope you do realise the implications of this. This in turn means that the falsehood being perpetrated by DG ISPR, PA & PAF of bringing down a Su 30 MKI is just that – A FALSEHOOD.

    Incidentally, it’s not for lack of trying according to the IAF. The Su 30 MKI the pride of the IAF and the most indomitable Fighter Aircraft at present in the sub continent was the primary target of the PAF. They kept shooting missiles at it as the recovered AMRAAM ( another lie exposed of the ISPR which claimed no F 16 were part of the strike mission on 27th Feb – a fact since refuted by your own people and ex service personnel) shows but were either outranged by the Su 30 MKI or were jammed. Neither were the PAF successful on its other mission to target IA Brigade HQ and an Ammo Dump near the LoC apart from the air base at Awantipora & Srinagar coz they were surprised by a squad of MiG 21 ( the same squad of which Wing Commander Abhinandan was a part) .So much so that they had to jettison their payload and flee back. The rest of the episode is known.

    Now that the issue of the usage of the F-16 is cleared, hopefully the names of the two deceased pilots would be known in the not so distant future too. We also hope these two worthy sons of Pakistan get the honour & recognition they deserve for they gave up their lives in the defence of their Nation, unlike those poor unlucky soldiers of yours in the Kargil war who had to wait years before their sacrifices were acknowledged by the powers that be & known to the lay Pakistani.

    Finally, it’s good to see all that sympathy and tears being shed for the Kashmiris. May I ask what about the Baloch or the Pashtuns, where millions have been rendered Internally displaced, with their homes & livelihood destroyed, with the Pakistani armed forces using heavy artillery, tanks and aircraft to target the so called terrorists there, who again were nurtured by your deep state once upon a time.

    After all Pakistan was supposed to have been created by for & of the Muslims of the sub continent. If Islam isn’t a glue to bind your people after 70 years of Independence, what exactly binds your people together. For unlike Hinduism, Islam is supposed to be an egalitarian religion and very accomodative too. Yet the nation created by Muslims of the sun continent seems to be at war with itself and two of its Islamic neighbours who’ve also accused it of harbouring terrorists and sponsorship of terrorism.

    Food For Thought!!

  12. Perfect planning from paf. Come on give me a break. A big joke indeed. Everybody knows including the paf and Pak army that they will not be able to stand even for 3 days against the might of the Indian Air Force. IAF can destroy Pakistan in a matter of days. Besides India can sustain war for months, we have the resources whereas Pakistan will crumble within a week. Therefore pls do not kid yourself, stop dreaming and come to reality.

  13. The Print propaganda in fact exposes Indian perverse/obstinate DNA behind this juvenile speculation. Intelligentsia in aerial dog fight primarily is about the training & expertise of the pilots not the aircraft that counts at the end of the day. Notwithstanding the humiliation of the entire Indian Military & political commander of the day.

  14. It is an old story so please close the chapter and move on for better things for the people of subcontinent! Peace is more important than hurt egos.

  15. IAF ko sab jantay han neekamo ke air force ha Abhinandan jaisay han saray Batain tu sab ko karni ati han indian media tu waisay he bohat jhota media ha bohat khoti news daytay han.PAF ko puri duniya janti ha aur jo teeja teeja kartay han indian Army aur airforce he teejas ko use nahi karna chahtay neekami airforce aur neekamy aircrafts.Pakistan kay against propaganda kartay han.Koi tu acha aircraft bana lo JF17 tu Pakistan khud manufacture karta ha aur batain bohat kartay han.Sharam magar tum ko nahi ati

  16. The Print …when did paf said jf 17 shotdown mig 21 bison…neither maj gen asif gafoor talked about jf 17 shooting down mig…get out of anti-pak propaganda..and don’t say some ex official claimed this on tv show..

    • Your Joker Gafoora in his press briefing clearly said “No F-16s” were used in the attack and the now famous “Do pilots humne giraftaar kiye hain, ek zakhmi hai unka ilaaz CMH Aspatal mein chal Raha hai, doosre se poochtach jaari hai”.

      Pakistani are pathological liers so adept at it that now they don’t even know when they are lying.

  17. Pakistani imagination of atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims is born out of their own stories of atrocities on Hindus of Pakistan. These shameless paki pigs have the cheek to talk about atrocities in Kashmir. Don’t worry 90% of the victims of your own Islamic terrorists are Muslims themselves. Remember Bangladesh, Balochistan , Kuwait, Taliban, Pak army and every hell hole on this Earth, you are taking the heating.

  18. Do you buy all of what he is saying? If yes, then IAF had badly beaten up by PAF on that day.

    Killing of its own MI-17 shows the state of emergency which IAF went through that day

    Perfect planning, choosing of the targets, the time and the execution. Everything up to the mark from PAF.

  19. IAF an air force 3 times PAF could escalate after having its Mig 21 shot down. (also lost Mi 17 at the same time_) ..should be very shameful ….what would happen when IAF faces PLAF an air force 2 times its size ??

  20. It’s a month old blog. Come on Indians, please come out of this topic. Its part of history now. Don’t use it as a selling content.

    Good to see a lot of Indians going to read that blog post which clearly mentions the atrocities of Indian forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

    `The Indian repression in Kashmir has seen no let up for over seven decades, with the last ten years have been particularly bloody. Thousands of killings, mass arrests, rapes, kidnappings, use of pellet guns to blind and maim protesters, and gross human rights violations have been the Indian government’s despicable methods to respond to the Kashmiris’ right of self-determination.`

    BTW, he is a retired officer. So don’t trust too much on the information he shared about the operation.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular