Fact-check: No, M.M. Alam’s jet was not burnt by protesters on May 9
The aircraft set on fire was in fact a replica of an F-6 fighter jet that was displayed as a monument in Mianwali, Punjab
Updated Saturday May 20 2023
Politician Maryam Nawaz Sharif claimed in a tweet that on May 9 a violent mob burnt down a fighter jet, flown by war hero and honored Pakistani pilot M.M. Alam, in Mianwali, Punjab.
The claim is false.
On May 14, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N, alleged in a tweet that the aircraft was flown by Muhammad Mahmood Alam (M.M. Alam) during the 1965 war, was burnt down by supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on May 9.
“The fighter aircraft, with which M.M. Alam shot down six Indian jets within a minute, you [Imran Khan] and your followers burnt this symbol of national pride to ashes,” she wrote. “Imran, do you deserve to be called a Pakistani? Do you have any relationship with this soil? Who are you? Who sent you?”
The tweet has received over 7,000 retweets, 16,500 likes and 3.8 million views, to date.
Two senior officials, who were privy to the information, have confirmed to Geo Fact Check that in reality the aircraft set on fire on May 9 was a replica of a F-6 fighter jet, displayed as a monument in Mianwali, Punjab.
While the original aircraft flown by the war hero, M.M. Alam is displayed at the Pakistan Air Force Museum in Karachi.
“This is absolutely wrong,” one official told Geo Fact Check over the phone, on the condition of anonymity, “There is a Pakistan Air Force Museum on Shahrah-e-Faisal in Karachi, where the [historical] fighter aircraft F-86 Sabre is exhibited.”
He added that the aircraft attacked in Mianwali was a replica of an F-6 aircraft.
“It was only a dummy, with no engine,” he said over the phone, “It had a ceramic coating and only the coating was damaged during the attack, which we have repainted and now it is as good as new.”
Another official also said that the late M.M. Alam's fighter jet is still at the PAF Museum in Karachi, Sindh.
— With additional reporting by Nadia Khalid.
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