Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pakistan disappointed at India's reaction to F-16 deal with US

Courtesy India Today: 
  • Pakistan and said it is surprised and disappointed at India's reaction over the US' decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan

  • They have argued that India is "the largest importer" of defence equipment and its arsenal stock is "much larger"

  • Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned Richard Verma and told him about India's concerns over US military aid to Pakistan which New Delhi believes goes into anti-India activities

Pakistan today argued that India is "the largest importer" of defence equipment and its arsenal stock is "much larger" and said it is "surprised and disappointed" at India's reaction over the US' decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

Pakistan reiterated the Obama Administration's justification that the acquisition would enhance the country's precision strike capability to combat terrorism.

"We are surprised and disappointed at the Indian Government's reaction. Their (India's) army and arsenal stock is much larger and they are the largest importer of defence equipment," the Foreign Office said in a statement in response to media queries.

"As regards F-16 sale, Pakistan and the United States closely cooperate in countering terrorism. US spokesperson clearly announced that the sale is to enhance precision strike capability," it added.

Pakistan's reaction comes a day after India summoned US Ambassador Richard Verma to convey its "displeasure and disappointment" over Obama Administration's decision to sell eight nuclear-capable F-16 fighter jets worth nearly USD 700 million to Pakistan.
Defence expert on Pakistan MOFA statement Rahul Jalali said that Pakistan is only arming itself to target india and that such a reaction is inevitable.
"India's defence need are much larger than Pakistan, we have to protect our waters, land form terrorist threats," Jalali said.
BJP's Sudesh Varma questioned the whole point of giving Pakistan such a sophisticated weapon since they have been a hostile neighbour.
"They are not interested in developing a friendly relation with India. US should not do any such activities that will aggravate the situation," he said.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned Richard Verma to the South Block and during the 45-minute meeting told him about India's concerns over US military aid to Pakistan which New Delhi believes goes into anti-India activities.US Ambassador to India Richard Verma today described the controversial sale of F-16 aircraft as "part of a legacy announcement", saying America expects Islamabad to do much more on eliminating terror safe havens there.
"Its part of a bit of a legacy announcement that is made several years ago. There are technical processes like the Congressional ratification," Verma said during an interaction at the CNN Asia Business Forum organised as part of the ongoing Make in India Week here.
"Our policy in Pakistan is to support the moderate elements, to support democracy.
"There is a big counter-terrorism insurgency component as well. Over the years our assistance to Pakistan has been a mix of both civilian and military equipment," he said.
According to sources, such military aids will embolden Pakistan.
India yesterday disagreed with the US rationale that such arms transfers help Pakistan in combating terrorism.
"The record of the last many years in this regard speaks for itself," the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a statement. The proposal is likely to face stiff resistance in the Republican-controlled Congress.



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