US investigating reports Pakistan used F-16s to down Indian jet in possible breach of deal
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US investigating reports Pakistan used F-16s to down Indian jet in possible breach of deal

The US Embassy in Islamabad announced Sunday that it was in the process of finding out whether Pakistan had used US-built F-16 jets to shoot down an Indian MiG-21. “We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” a spokesperson for the embassy said, according to Reuters. “We take all allegations of misuse of defense articles very seriously.” Pakistan and India exchanged multiple airstrikes last week following tensions over a deadly bombing attack in the Indian-controlled Kashmir that New Delhi said was conducted by Pakistani militants.  On Tuesday, India carried out air raids over the disputed Kashmir region, targeting the Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which it accused of orchestrating the bombing in February that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police. On Wednesday, Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured one of their pilots.  Islamabad later returned the pilot to India. On Thursday, Indian officials put on display parts of what they said was an air-to-air missile that could only be fired from F-16 jets, alleging they were used to bomb the Indian side of the disputed Kashmir border a day earlier. India also said that it had downed a Pakistani F-16, a claim Islamabad denied. Pakistan's military has denied reports that it used F-16 jets during the dogfight with the Indian warplanes. Islamabad had yet to disclose what aircraft it used for the mission.  The move by Pakistani air force could amount to a violation of US agreements, according to Reuters. Pakistan bought several batches of the Lockheed Martin F-16s from Washington before relations between the two sides soured over the fight against the Taliban and then US President Barack Obama cut off subsidized sales to Islamabad in 2016. It was not clear what restrictions were imposed on Pakistan's use of the aircraft in its so-called “end-user agreements” with the US. “The US government does not comment on or confirm pending investigations of this nature,” the US embassy said.

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