The encounter between the Indian and Pakistani air forces above the disputed Kashmir region on 27 February resulted in the downing of two Indian jets and allegedly a Pakistani F-16 , according to New Delhi. Islamabad denies losing a plane.
Not only was a Pakistani F-16 allegedly shot down in a dogfight with Indian jets on Wednesday, but the pilot, Shahaz-ud-Din, was reportedly killed after successfully bailing out from the doomed aircraft, the newspaper Firstpost reported, citing London-based lawyer Khalid Umar.
The lawyer, who says that he obtained the information from the pilot’s family, claims that Shahaz-ud-Din was mistaken by locals in the Pakistani Nowshera sector as a pilot from a downed Indian jet and was subsequently lynched by a mob. According to Umar, the Pakistani pilot was eventually rescued by the Pakistani Army, but later died from the injuries he sustained in the assault.
Relations between the two states worsened after a deadly terrorist attack on a security convoy on 14 February, reportedly organised by the group Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed the lives of 45 Indian paramilitary servicemen. New Delhi has accused Islamabad of harbouring terrorists and organised an air raid against an alleged terror camp located on Pakistani territory.
The following day after the air raid, Pakistan announced that it had downed two Indian jets that entered its airspace over the disputed Kashmir border, also capturing an Indian pilot. At the same time, the Indian Air Force stated that one of its MiG-21 Bison had shot down a Pakistani Air Force F-16 during the clash, while Islamabad has denied sustaining any losses or even scrambling an F-16.
Pakistan later released one of the Indian pilots “as a peace gesture” on 1 March.