Pakistan Air Force Pilot Shahzaz Ud Din Whose F-16 Was Shot Down by Wg Cd Abhinandan Varthaman Mistaken to be Indian; Lynched by PoK Locals?

On February 27, 2019, Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian fighter jets. DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor claimed that Pakistan had captured one Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, while other two were in the area. But on the same day in the evening, he changed his statement. In another tweet, DG ISPR made a u-turn and said that there was only one pilot under Pakistan Army’s custody. He added that Wing Commander Abhinanadan was being treated with full military ethics.

Maj Gen. Ghafoor’s second tweet gave birth to many questions – why the earlier statement was changed from two pilots to one? what happened to the second pilot, who according to Pakistan was admitted to a hospital after sustaining injuries? why Pakistan is silent about the second pilot? Meanwhile, just couple of hours before the second claim of DG ISPR, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also claimed to have captured two Indian pilots. According to him one was in the custody of the Pakistan Army and the other one was in hospital. Pakistan’s F-16 Which Violated Indian Air Space Shot Down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with Mig-21 Bison; IAF Presents Cover of AMRAAM Missile As Evidence.

On February 27, the day when the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) violated the Indian airspace, IAF’s fighter jets  Mig 21 Bisons, Su-30 MKI and Mirage-2000s intercepted the enemy aircraft. In the ensuing battle, IAF’s Mig-21 Bison flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down PAF’s F-16 warplane which Wing Commander Shahzaz Ud Din was flying, claimed reports. However, Wg Cdr Varthaman’s plane was also hit either by a Pakistan’s missile from ground or from another PAF jet which is still not clear. Both the pilots ejected from their respective planes and landed at different locations in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). F-16 Block 70 or Gripen E for Indian Air Force?

Meanwhile, Pak security forces saved IAF Wing Commander Varthaman from a mob and was taken to the Pakistani Army base, but PAF’s pilot who landed in Laam Valley, stretching out westward from Nowshehra into PoK was reportedly lynched by its own citizens, for mistaking him to be an Indian pilot. The PAF Wing Commander flew for the 19 Squadron, also known as the ‘Sher-Dils’. Later, he was taken to he hospital where he succumbed to injuries. When Pakistan realised what exactly happpened, its army changed the statement. IAF Wg Cd Varthaman is a son of Air Marshal (Retd) S Varthaman, while PAF’s Wg Cd Shahzaz was a son of Air Marshal Waseem Ud Din, DCAS (Operations) of the PAF.

The news about Shahzaz was reported by UK-based lawyer Umar Khaleed.

A local confirming that two pilots were seen landing in PoK.

Pakistan also declined to accept the fact that their plane was shot down by the Indian Mig 21 Bison. It is possibly because the United States of America restricted Pakistan at the time of the contract from inadvertent usage of F-16 fighter jets apart from anti-terror operations.

Meanwhile, Wg Cd Varthaman returned to India via Attari border. He was released by Pakistan almost 60 hours after he was taken into custody by the Pakistani Army following an ensuing battle in which he shot down the PAF’s F-16 with his MIg-21 Bison.

Published by Sumit Sharma

Journalist and passionate for Indian Defence forces.

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