'F-16 jets knock down CIA drones'
Pakistan has the capability to shoot down CIA-operated drones, former Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) head Dr Samar Mubarak Mand has said.world Updated: Apr 23, 2011 14:03 IST
Pakistan has the capability to shoot down CIA-operated drones, former Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) head Dr Samar Mubarak Mand has said.
Talking to media persons, the nuclear scientist said that Pakistan had F-16 fighter jets, which were capable of shooting down any kind of drone predators.
He claimed that an Israel-made Indian drone, which had been sent to attack Lahore, was successfully knocked down by Pakistan, The Nation reports.
Dr Samar also observed that it was a strategic issue, therefore the final decision in this regard rested with the government.
It is noteworthy that similar statements had been issued time and again by chief of Air Staff Air chief marshal Rao Qamar Suleman that Pakistan is capable of shooting down the US predator aircrafts.
But such claims are in direct contrast with Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik's statement that the Pakistan Air Force cannot shoot down unmanned US drones.
Malik said recently that the altitude of the drones is much higher than that of Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets.
"Our effort remains focused on finding a diplomatic solution to halt drone attacks. We feel they are counter-productive. Drone missiles cause collateral damage. A few militants are killed, but the majority of victims are innocent citizens," the Interior Minister added.