NEW DELHI (Web Desk) – India Saturday said it was disappointed with the U.S. decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
The Indian External Affairs Ministry made it clear that it refused to buy the U.S. argument that the deal, worth nearly 700 million U.S. dollars, will help Pakistan combat terrorism.
“We are disappointed at the decision of the Obama Administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircrafts to Pakistan. We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
He added: “The record of the last many years in this regard speaks for itself. The US Ambassador will be summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs to convey our displeasure.”
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency – a wing of the Pentagon – said in a statement, that this proposed sale worth nearly USD 700 million contributes to US foreign policy objectives and national security goals by helping improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia.
The Pentagon said the proposed sale improves Pakistan’s capability to meet current and future security threats sand won’t alter the military balance in the region.
The US government’s notification on the sale of the fighter jets, equipment, training, and logistics support comes despite mounting opposition from influential lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
“This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded,” said the Defence Security Cooperation Agency.
These additional F-16 aircraft will facilitate operations in all-weather, non-daylight environments, provid self- defence and area suppression capability, and enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
“It will increase the number of aircraft available to the Pakistan Air Force to sustain operations, meet monthly training requirements, and support transition training for pilots new to the Block-52. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional aircraft into its air force,” the Pentagon agency said.
The Obama administration in last October announced the plan to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan in an attempt to bolster the two countries’ relationship.