NEW DELHI: Causing embarrassment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to mark the 70th year of Independence with nationwide celebrations, the Ministry of Culture ended up using pictures of fighter jet JF-17, jointly developed by China and Pakistan, flying with the Tricolour, in its Independence Day promotional video. The Culture Ministry video, which promoted an online application system for obtaining no-objection certificates for construction from the National Monuments Authority, was posted on Twitter. Moments after the issue was raked up on social media, the ministry removed it. But when contacted, ministry officials refused to comment.
The short video of over a minute had an animated sequence of the JF-17 flying with an Indian Tricolour.
According to an insider, the fighter jet looks similar to India’s indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and there has been much debate and analysis on their comparative capabilities.
Pakistan has already inducted the JF-17 and is also manufacturing it locally. China and Pakistan have been jointly marketing the JF-17 as a low cost multi-role fighter for other countries in Asia and Africa.
A similar goof up had happened in January 2010 after an Indian government advertisement featured former Pakistan Air Force chief Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed alongside former PM Manmohan Singh and cricketer Kapil Dev.
However, a similar faux pass was reported even in Pakistan, as the Pakistan navy had in 2011 used Indian warships in an advertisement.
The JF-17 Thunder jet was jointly developed by Pakistan and China to replace the ageing Dassault Mirage combat aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force. So far, the Pakistan Air Force has inducted about 50 JF-17s.