WASHINGTON: The United States Defence Department has said that F-16s sale to Pakistan should not be a cause of concern to India and the deal took into account the regional security situation.
India had expressed its disappointment at the decision by the Obama Administration to sell F-16 aircraft to help Pakistan in its counter terrorism operations.
Pakistan has expressed its surprise over the Indian reaction to the proposed deal.
Asked at a briefing about India’s reaction to the US decision to sell aircraft to Pakistan, Pentagon Press Secretary Petro Cook said the United States look at relationship with Pakistan and that with India as a separate relationship.
“We think this is important capabilities for the Pakistan to go after terrorists,” the spokesman said referring to the F-16 aircraft which had been playing an important role in the ongoing military operation against terrorists.
“We don’t think it should be cause of concern for India.”
The decision by the US State Department to sell additional F-16 aircraft to Pakistan and a subsequent notification to Congress by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) which broker government-to-government arms sale came in the face of staunch resistance by the Indian lobby in Washington and some US Congressmen who argued these fighter jets would be used against India.
Pentagon spokesman again reiterated the point at the briefing about the importance of the F-16 deal.
“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,” he said.
Pakistan is one of the older users of F-16s and has received these jet fighters from the United States periodically over the past 30 years.
Courtesy : TheNews