In­dia sum­mons US en­voy over sale of F-16 jets to Pak­istan

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent and Agen­cies let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

In­dia ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment on Satur­day over the US ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pro­posal to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pak­istan, say­ing it dis­agreed that such arms trans­fers would help com­bat ter­ror­ism.

For­eign sec­re­tary S Jais­hankar sum­moned US am­bas­sador Richard Verma to con­vey In­dia’s “dis­plea­sure”. “We are dis­ap­pointed at the de­ci­sion of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to no­tify the sale of F-16 air­craft to Pak­istan. We dis­agree with their ra­tio­nale that such arms trans­fers help to com­bat ter­ror­ism,” the ex­ter­nal affairs min­istry said in a state­ment.

The Pen­tagon’s de­fense se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion agency said it had no­ti­fied law­mak­ers about the pos­si­ble sale on Thurs­day. It said the sale would im­prove Pak­istan’s ca­pa­bil­ity to meet cur­rent and fu­ture se­cu­rity threats.

How­ever, the Obama ad­min- is­tra­tion’s pro­posal to sell the F-16 jets to Pak­istan is un­likely to sail smoothly through the US Congress with both Repub­li­can and Demo­crat law­mak­ers rais­ing con­cerns over the South Asian coun­try act­ing as a safe haven for ter­ror­ist groups tar­get­ing In­dia and Afghanistan. In the past few days, in­flu­en­tial law­mak­ers have sent a flurry of let­ters to US pres­i­dent Barack Obama and sec­re­tary of state John Kerry ex­press­ing op­po­si­tion to the de­ci­sion to sell F-16s to Pak­istan.

HT FILE

The Pen­tagon said the F-16s would im­prove Pak­istan’s ca­pa­bil­ity to meet cur­rent and fu­ture se­cu­rity threats.

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