Pakistan received a US$450 million sustainability program for F-16 aircraft.
India has expressed its strong opposition to America for taking this decision without informing it.
America said – new weapons or ammunition will not be included in the maintenance package.
New Delhi. India expressed strong opposition to the United States over the $450 million “support package” given to Pakistan for F-16 jets without informing it. This protest was addressed to the US Under Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu. In this protest, the timing of this decision was also disputed. The Indian government believes that this decision will have no effect on the rapidly developing mutual relations. This will bring some discomfort in the relations between the two countries. Because America did not inform India of this decision earlier. This has serious security implications for India.
According to information from the Times of India, this aid to Pakistan was stopped by the administration of Donald Trump in 2018. Whereas now, the Joe Biden administration has changed this decision. The announcement came at a time when India was hosting US officials. In which Lu himself was involved. When the US announced this, the US-India Two Plus Two Intersessional Meeting and Maritime Security Dialogue was underway. India took this issue very harshly with Lu. America is expected to keep India’s security in mind.
While the United States said the new maintenance program would not include new capabilities, weapons or ammunition. The two plus two dialogue between India and America was held on September 7. While this meeting was unfolding, the United States approved a congressional resolution, which included a repair package for the Pakistani F-16 aircraft. A US State Department spokesman said Pakistan is a major ally in counterterrorism activities. According to the policy already in place, America will work to repair the weapons sold.
India believes the target of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet is India. Even if some of these planes are not in service. India also wonders how Pakistan gets such US support without cutting its defense ties with China! There is also speculation that Pakistan got this package only because it allowed the use of Pakistani airspace to kill al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. While Pakistan has always denied this allegation of the Taliban.
Biden considers India-US relations important for global peace and economy (US official)
Significantly, in 2018, President Donald Trump’s administration banned all forms of military aid to Pakistan. While the administration of Joe Biden reversed this decision. After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, some differences also emerged with the United States regarding India’s position. India has increased its energy imports from Russia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently said there was huge potential for energy cooperation with Russia.
Keywords: America, F 16, India, Pakistan
FIRST POST: September 11, 2022, 08:15 IST