With New Delhi voicing its displeasure over the US decision to sell F-16s to Pakistan, the Pentagon has assured that it should not be a real concern for India. Justifying its decision to sell F-16 jets to Pakistan, the Pentagon insists that it had taken into account the regional security situation before deciding to sell the jets to Pakistan.
“We don’t think it should cause concern for India,” Pentagon’s press secretary Peter Cook said. “We think this is a capability that will help Pakistan in its counterterrorism effort and we think that’s in the national security interests of the United States,” Mr Cook said. This statement from Pentagon comes in the backdrop of India summoning the US envoy Richard Verma on February 13 to convey its displeasure over the sale of F16s to Pakistan.
The Obama administration went ahead with its decision to sell eight nuclear-capable F-16 fighter jets worth nearly $700 million to Pakistan despite opposition from influential lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties. India has rejected the US’ rationale that the deal would help Pakistan in combating terrorism. India has said that the US military aid to Pakistan usually ends up going into anti-India activities.
“These additional F—16 aircraft will facilitate operations in all—weather, non—daylight environments, provide a self— defence/area suppression capability, and enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter—insurgency and counter terrorism operations,” the Pentagon had earlier said.
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