Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has displayed the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet that gunned down Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Mig-21 in 2019 at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2022.
The 11th edition of the country’s biggest defense exhibition is being held from 15-18 November at Karachi Expo Center and visitors are especially interested in that particular JF-17 Thunder aircraft.
On 27 February 2019, PAF carried out a retaliatory strike – Operation Swift Retort – across the LOC after India’s botched Balakot airstrike the day prior.
The operation saw a Pakistani JF-17 jet shooting down IAF fighter aircraft as the former was returning back from occupied Kashmir after successfully targeting Indian military installations.
Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, landed in Pakistan after his Mig-21 jet was blown midair chasing the Pakistani JF-17 Thunder.
Villagers within Pakistan’s side of LOC gave Abhinandan a severe beating before handing him over to Pakistan Army.
Pakistani authorities later gave the Indian war prisoner a taste of Pakistani hospitality after rescuing him from enraged villagers.
The then Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to repatriate the disgraced Indian pilot as a goodwill gesture and in an effort towards bringing down cross-border tensions.