US Pentagon Says Approving Pakistan F 16 Fleet sustainment program not designed as a message to India

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US Pentagon Says Approving Pakistan F 16 Fleet sustainment program not designed as a message to India

Washington: The US has said that its decision to provide $450 million in aid to Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets is not to send a message to India, but is related to America’s defense partnership with Islamabad, which specifically focuses on terrorism and nuclear security. The Biden administration on September 8, reversing the Trump administration’s decision to freeze military aid to Pakistan, approved $450 million in aid to Pakistan for F-16 fighter jets.

Earlier, the Trump administration had halted military aid to Pakistan for its failure to act against terrorist groups, the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network. India has conveyed its concerns to the US over Washington’s decision to provide an aid package for Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets. In a notification to the US Parliament, the State Department said it has decided to approve a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Pakistan for maintenance of F-16 fighter jets.
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$450 million in aid for F-16 fighter jets
The ministry had argued that this would help Islamabad maintain its ability to deal with threats of terrorism in the present and in the future. Responding to a question, Assistant Minister for Indo-Pacific Security Dr. Elle Ratner said on Thursday that Pakistan’s decision to provide $450 million in aid for F-16 fighter jets was not intended to send a message to India.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, in a conversation with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last week, expressed India’s concern over the US’ decision to provide a package for the maintenance of Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet fleet. “US aid for the F-16 is linked to America’s defense partnership with Pakistan that focuses specifically on terrorism and nuclear security, as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday,” Ratner told reporters on Thursday. was clarified.

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