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Following Jaishankar’s ‘not fooling anyone jab, the US responds to F-16 assistance to Pak

Pakistan F-16 aircraft fighter assistance: the United States recently provided Pakistan with an amount of $450 million that the Pentagon described as an “F-16 case for sustainment as well as related equipment.

The United States defended itself on Tuesday against Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s sharp attack on the Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft in a statement that it does not consider its relationship with Delhi and Islamabad in relation to each other.

“We do not view the relationship we have to Pakistan… the relationship we have is with India… as having a relationship to one another… each of us is a partner of ours, with distinct areas of focus …” State department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.

“We look to both as partners, because we do have in many cases shared values. We do have in many cases shared interests. And the relationship we have with India stands on its own. The relationship we have with Pakistan stands on its own,” He declared.

This past Sunday Jaishankar asked the US to examine their relationship with Pakistan in a statement that said it’s not fooling anybody’ by declaring support for Pak’s F-16 was intended to counter-terrorism.

“At the end of the day… to say I am doing it for ‘counterterrorism’… you are talking of an aircraft with the capability of an F-16 (and) everyone knows where they are deployed. You are not fooling anybody by saying these things,” he said.

Read “Not fooling anyone”: Jaishankar on US support for Pakistan F-16s

The United States recently provided Pakistan with a $450-million package that the Pentagon described as an ‘F-16 Case for sustainment equipment and other associated equipment. No matter what the name, it is the very first significant military contract in the relationship with Pak after the Trump administration halted aid in the year 2018.

Trump made the comment after he said Islamabad did not take action against terrorist groups operating on its soil.

Pakistan has a large F-16 fleet but is dependent on the US for assistance.

US Military assistance for Pakistan in the purchase of F-16 fighters causes alarm in India

The $450 million figure does not comprise, Washington said, upgrades to weapons or capabilities on aircraft however assistance for a combat aircraft that is used against India following the year Balakot air strikes in 2019. Balakot air strikes have raised eyebrows in Delhi.

India expressed its anger via diplomatic channels, and defense minister Rajnath Singh also conveyed concerns to the United States.

However, Jaishankar – speaking at an event for the community at a community event in Washington, D.C. – was equally honest in his evaluation of relations between the United States and Pakistan. “Very honestly, it is a relationship that has ended up serving neither Pakistan nor serving American interests well… for the US to reflect what the merits of the relationship [are] and what they get by keeping it sort of continuing.”

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