You are choosing to believe liars:Not to troll you. I am an Indian. I understand India much much better, and hence I believe Indian version.
However, I do believe PAF came out very well on that morning. I.e. PAF was better than IAF on that morning.
PS: IAF did not have to use an imaginary kill to "brag". We know that PAF was better on that morning.
It is not a guess, per the then IAF chief. That interview is widely available in youtube. Please watch it.
Also, immediately after that day, there were beautiful and knowledgeable post by a very knowledgeable Indian. He since vanished, and I can't recall his name. Most old timers here must have read those posts (and conveniently ignored them) where he informed about possible SAM kill of f-16, lot before paf came up with pics of those A2A missiles almost intact to mig-21.
Also, please do your own research. There is no confirmation from US officials.
Pakistanis - not trolling you. Please ignore this post, as we debated all these endlessly.
You are choosing to believe the same government officials that lied about many other aspects of the incident.
The same government that lied about the strikes the day before. Claiming to have killed a very large number of terrorists. The reality was that not one person was killed because they missed the targets altogether.
The same government lied and said that no IAF plane was shot down after Pak claimed to have shot two jets down. Which prompted Pak to put Abhi on video. They kept denying until we showed him on TV. Is that an honest government?
Then lets not forget that the same government decided to attack Pakistan "launch pads" lol, which even if they existed had no role to play in the pulwama attack. Pulwama was done by a Kashmiri boy who was from Indian controlled portion.
Indian claim on weak legs:
The IAF chief claims that, since we have the F-16 track lost on radar, and since only Abhi was in the area, so we are deciding to give him the credit for the kill. That is the definition of a bogus claim. As you can see Abhi never relayed back that he launched a missile (besides, why would he launch a missile when he believes he is still in IOK, why would he attack a jet deep in Pak, does he want to start a war?). We know, he was never told to shoot by the IAF controllers. Instead he was told to turn back, which he didn't do. And lastly IAF has no radar signature of Abhi shooting a missile at anything. And of course the fact that we find all four missiles from his crashed jet proves that he shot nothing. Besides, I bet you that wasn't the only F-16 track lost by Indian radar that day, in that mountain region. Track lost simply means that the radar can't see the jet any longer. In mountain region, easy reason is the jet ducked low behind mountains... everybody knows this, but your government and airforce choose to make a fool out of your civilians.
Pakistani claim of SU-30 heavier than Indian claim:
Compare that to the Pakistani claim of shooting down the SU-30. Which I believe holds more ground. PAF says that one of the F-16s was cleared to shoot the SU-30, a missile was shot, which was tracked on radar. And the missile relayed back proximity activation code (when it exploded near SU-30, either damaging or killing it, up for debate) to the F-16 that had shot it. Then we also have your media mention that an SU-30 has been shot down. This is also when we see your media start to mention F-16 shot as if to balance the scales lol. You compare the two claims, and then choose to back one based solely on the claims attributes, if you are an honest individual you will side with the Pak claim.
No Evidence of F-16 shot down:
There is no evidence of F-16 shot down, neither does it make sense to shoot a plane tens of miles inside Pak and not have its wreckage. You can't hide that, especially not on the Pak side. It may be somewhat easier to do that on IOK though due to the military occupation and curfews you had in IOK, but its not possible in Pak. There is too many people who live there. Then you have US personnel at the bases that operate F-16 in Pak. They would all have to be complicit in hiding it, which is not possible either. All in all, thousands of people, from civilians, to PAF personnel, to US personnel stationed there, to Lockheed Martin in US, to Martin Baker seat company in UK would all have to lie. Thats a massive chain, which just isn't possible. All you need is one local Pakistani who thinks it was Indian jet shot down, and posts pictures of it to spill the beans. Then of course we didn't have any independent satellite imaging teams find any wreckage on the Pak side. Keep in mind that we had independent satellites on site at the claimed Indian strikes. Which showed no damage. India would know where the F-16 went down, they could easily have satellites over that area, pictures taken of the crash site. Which they didn't. Then the FP article where the Pentagon correspondent says that Pentagon officials have counted and found none missing. That should really be all you need.
You can choose to believe the bogus claim over a much more likely claim of SU-30 down, you go ahead. We know that Indian government elections cause them to behave in very abnormal ways, we know that they have given fake awards before. Why would we believe this award to be real this time. Especially not after all the evidence is in front of us.
But no, you guys go ahead, give an award to a guy who crossed the border without permission from his government, got shot down. And even your chief doesn't know if it was him, or a Pak SAM, that made the F-16 track lost on radar, but you go ahead give another bogus award. The real award should go to the mountain, which hid the F-16 radar signature from Indian radar.