Pakistan today officially named two pilots - Squadron Leader Hassan Siddiqui and Wing Commander Nauman Ali Khan who it claimed shot down two Indian jets on February 27 when its aircraft were engaged in a dogfight with Indian warplanes.
Pakistani media has since speculated that the second Indian Air Force (IAF) warplane was a Su-30MKI jet, the main strike arm of the IAF.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the country’s Parliament Wednesday that Squadron Leader Hassan Siddiqui and Wing Commander Nauman Ali Khan were the pilots responsible for the two hits, saying he wanted to “pay tribute” to them both.
While Pakistan has officially identified Squadron Leader Siddiqui as the pilot whose plane downed the Indian MiG-21 Bison, this is the first time it has revealed the name of the second attacking pilot. However, Qureshi did not name the downed Indian jet nor the type of aircraft the Pakistani pilots were flying.
While it is well known that the MiG-21 Bison jet fell within Pakistani territory and its pilot captured and subsequently released; the Su-30MKI fell on the Indian side, Pakistani media reports said.
India says that IAF pilots shot missiles at one Pakistani plane, believed to be an F-16 jet, which fell on the Pakistan-controlled side of Kashmir. India showed fragments of an advanced medium air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) which could have been fired only by an F-16 jet.
Pakistan has not commented on Indian claims that one of its warplanes was shot down in the skirmish with Indian jets. India has officially acknowledged that only one of its warplanes- a MiG-21 Bison was downed.