China Enters India-Pakistan Battle For Honour Patches After IAF’s Balakot Airstrike

Made in China patch available on eBay refers to Chinese built fighter as MiG-21 killer

New Delhi: 

The lack of hard evidence of the Indian Air Force shooting down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 or the lack of any evidence of Pakistan shooting down an IAF Sukhoi-30MKI fighter hasn’t prevented the Air Forces of either side producing squadron patches to reinforce their respective versions of the truth.

These patches, worn by pilots on their flight overalls, are meant to instil a sense of pride, but in the context of India and Pakistan, seem to feed upon the disputed claims made both sides.

The latest addition to the ‘patch war’ between the Air Forces of both sides appears to be China, referred to by Islamabad as Pakistan’s all-weather friend. A squadron patch available on eBay, the online shopping site, shows a Chinese built JF-17 ‘Thunder’ fighter with the slogan “JF-17 – MiG killer.” This is a reference to the shoot down of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG-21 Bison by the Pakistan Air Force on February 27, a day after the Indian Air Force struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror training facility in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan.

The eBay page where this patch is being sold for $16 says it is “Made in China PLA Military Factory.”

The Indian Air Force, which was actively tracking the air battle over the Line of Control that day, believes Wing Commander Varthaman was shot down by an AMRAAM air-to-air missile fired by a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter, and not by a Chinese made…

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