“You are not fooling anybody.” this is the blunt message of India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to the powers-that-be in the Biden administration on the US’ decision to provide the $450 million package F-16 fighter jet fleet sustainment programme for Pakistan.
In a controversial decision, the US government led by President Joe Biden overturned the decision of his predecessor Donald Trump to suspend military aid to Pakistan, eliciting strong protests from India. The Biden government has rationalised the F-16 package by arguing that it would sustain Islamabad’s capability to meet current and future counterterrorism threats.
“For someone to say I am doing this because it is all counter-terrorism content and so when you are talking of an aircraft like a capability of an F-16 where everybody knows, you know where they are deployed and their use. You are not fooling anybody by saying these things,” said Mr Jaishankar in an interaction with the Indian diaspora when he was asked a question about the US’ decision to ‘sell’ the F-16 aircraft to Pakistan.
“Very honestly, it’s a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well, nor serving the American interests. So, it is really for the United States today to reflect on what are the merits of this relationship and what do they get by it,” he said in a considered critique of the US-Pakistan relationship. “It’s really for the United States today to reflect on the merits of this relationship and what they get by it,” he stressed.
The US has reacted to Mr Jaishankar’s caustic remarks, saying that India and Pakistan are both partners of the US with different points of emphasis. We don’t view our relationship with Pakistan, and on the other hand, we don’t view our relationship with India as in relation to one another. These are both partners of ours with different points of emphasis in each,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at a news conference in Washington DC.
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to email@example.com
- China Connect2023.03.23Chinese diplomat cautious against third-party interference in border dispute with India
- India and the World2023.03.20Japan PM seeks India’s central role in updated Indo-Pacific strategy
- India and the World2023.03.15Why India-US semi-conductor agreement matters
- Diplomacy2023.03.11India-China conflict likely to escalate: US intelligence report