Monday, June 27, 2022

This Pakistani pilot’s story that’s buried forever

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New Delhi: One of the most heart-wrenching stories that came out of the recent spike in tension between India and Pakistan was the case of a Pakistani pilot whose F-16 had been shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and who succumbed to the injuries inflicted by his own countrymen. The pilot had ejected successfully after getting hit in an aerial engagement with Varthaman and had also landed safely in Pakistan's territory. However, the local villagers, assuming that he is an Indian national, thrashed him so badly that he had to be admitted to a hospital.

The Pakistan government has not revealed the identity of the pilot because the country had procured F-16 from the US government on the condition that it will only be used in operations against terrorism. Identifying the pilot would mean admitting to using an F-16 to carry out an attack against India. The dead Pakistani pilot has been identified as Wing Commander Shahzaz Ud Din of 19 Squadron (Sherdils) PAF. And even though his case may not find any mention in the official records anywhere, his story is being discussed widely on social media.    

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