I think Abhinandan will muster up enough courage someday to admit that he did not shot down any F-16 and that he has been used as a political pawn to conceal the humiliating defeat of IAF in the dogfight against PAF in 2019.

Why I call it a ‘humiliating defeat' is because...
..Indian govt categorically said that Pakistan's actions on the morning of 27th Feb were an ‘act of war’.

With a three times larger force, India should have responded but it's military leadership was in a state of paralysis after Pakistan's swift response in broad day light...
..along with the killing of 6 IAF personnel including a senior officer in fratricide when a surface-to-air missile hit a Mi-17. It all happened on a day when IAF was on its highest alert levels.

Giving Abhinandan a gallantry award is a red herring against the military failures.
After the embarrassing defeat, Air Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar who was serving as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of Western Command was forced to retire on the very next day on 28 Feb 2019.

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