India summons US Ambassador over Washington nod for sale of eight F-16 fighters to Pak

India will summon the US Ambassador over the country's sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan

By: Reuters | Washington | Updated: February 13, 2016 3:10 pm
US fighter jet pakistan, US F16 Pakistan, F16 jets Pakistan, Indo US relations, pakistan, US fighter jets, US pakistan, US fighter jet pakistan, pakistan fighter jet, indo pakistan relations, MEA, Barack Obama, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Army, ISI A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 40 aircraft after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during a mission over Iraq on 10 June 2008 (Wikimedia/US Air Force photo)

India on Saturday expressed disappointment over US administration’s decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, saying it disagrees that such arms’ transfers will 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 aircrafts to Pakistan. We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism,’ the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

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The US government said on Friday it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said it had notified lawmakers about the possible deal.

The agency said the F-16s would allow Pakistan’s Air Force to operate in all-weather environments and at night, while improving its self-defense capability and bolstering its ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare since deals are well-vetted before any formal notification.

Also read: Opinion – Islamic State comes to Pakistan

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker notified the Obama administration that he would not approve using US funds to pay for the planes through the foreign military financing (FMF) program. That means Pakistan must fund the purchase itself, instead of relying on U.S. funds to cover about 46 percent of the cost.

Given the funds it has available, Pakistan may be able to buy only four of the F-16 Block 52 models, and the associated radar and electronic warfare equipment, said one U.S. source familiar with the situation.

Corker told Secretary of State John Kerry in a letter that he was concerned about Pakistan’s ties to the Haqqani network, a militant group that U.S. officials have said is behind attacks in Afghanistan.

“I may reconsider my blanket hold on US FMF assistance should the Pakistanis make progress on addressing my significant concerns about their support for the Haqqani network, but for now, if they wish to purchase this military equipment, they will do so without a subsidy from the American taxpayer,” he wrote.

One US official said the administration was convinced that F-16s were the right platform to support Pakistan’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.

“These operations reduce the ability of militants to use Pakistani territory as a safe haven for terrorism and a base of support for the insurgency in Afghanistan, which is in the national interests of both Pakistan and the United States, and in the interest of the region more broadly,” the official said.
Lockheed referred questions about the deal to the U.S. government.

(With ENS inputs)

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  1. S
    Feb 13, 2016 at 5:39 am
    India and US have a strategic partnership ,that should not be allowed to be impacted .Yes , the F-16 is a very capable airplane and nuclear delivery platform, but does it have the requisite electronics to become a threat to us ? India has other military and commercial interests with US ,which more than offset (in value) this 'gift' to stan . Fellow commenters, please don't mistake the bush for the forest ...
    1. S
      Feb 13, 2016 at 5:45 am
      US pressure has made the Mid-East nations extradite and expel terrorists , IS fighters and IS recruiters back to India. And yes , after interrogation, these people have mentioned their conversations with faceless contacts 'Ah' and 'Aj' ...
      1. F
        Feb 13, 2016 at 3:40 am
        On coming to power, Modi ji has recklessly cancelled a carefully crafted bid process by previous government over many years, for Rafael fighter jets. Then he gave away the advantage to the French by trying to negotiate with them bilaterally. They not only refused to "make in India" in any noteworthy manner, but also refused to sell at price India could have obtained through the bid process. This happened despite, in a role reversal, India (the buyer of Fighter jets) ended up openly courting the seller (France selling its Rafael Jets) by inviting them to preside over Republic Day. All we got so far are the gross and creepy photos of Narendra Modi trying to hug the French President from behind. This is what happens when we elect a man who rarely traveled abroad as Head of the Indian state. The innumerous foreign trips and plaude filled NRI shows have served to distract the public from lack of attention to furthering Indian interests in those countries. He may claim to be on first name terms with Barack Obama, but Obama unlike Modi, works with laser like precision to promote his nation's interests. Even stan - globally acknowledged as an instigator of terrorism - proved better at Foreign affairs by securing its vital interests like F-16s compared to Modi govt, under whom Foreign Affairs are conducted mainly through social media. The Foreign Secretary S. Jaishanker and his NRI son Dhruv Jaishanker wield more power due to proximity to Modi than even Sushma Swaraj and career IFS officers. No elected Govt has ever managed to make enemies out of friendly neighbours like Nepal like Modi and Jaishanker did. Modi in fact went there, before he traveled much of the world. Nepal and U.S. trip outcomes should makes us worry, if his global travels will similarly leave us with large travel bills, while achieving negative results. One thing Modi deserves credit for - is making it easy for all of us to get pports, except of course, unless it is his wife. That lady, who is the very epitome of dignity is made to prove her marriage to a deserter - before officials of Pport Office. A record number of students are leaving India to settle abroad. Many of them know, it will be a while, before Modi can stop looking at the camera and turn his gaze towards a nation whose economy is grinding to a halt. I know at least some of you will be quick to call me "anti-national". Before you do, pause to think if that term does not apply to you first. It is time this nation should be able to ask what good has come out of Modi's foreign trips and "selfies with Barack" without being accused by dimwitted trolls.
        1. I
          Feb 13, 2016 at 3:26 am
          India needs to follow China in blocking US companies from having free access to India. Then it will think twice before financing a terrorist ...
          1. S
            Feb 13, 2016 at 10:47 am
            displeasure is not we should convey... we should showcase Russian SAMs that can reduce these obsolete machines to fireballs... The americans wanted to sell these junks to us during MMRCA bids.
            1. A
              Feb 13, 2016 at 4:11 am
              India will go to France and buy aircraft spending 6000 crores and USA will neutralize it with free gift to stan. USA will now say it is a deal and then provide them aid towards the cost of the deal. The worlds number one rogue nation is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
              1. B
                Feb 14, 2016 at 1:13 pm
                Just be friend by benefit to all. None is trust worthy..
                1. M
                  Feb 14, 2016 at 1:22 am
                  Having 270 SU-30 fighter jets, Indians are angry over 8 jets deal. Indians want " a walk in the park" when it comes to Pak-India conflict. Oh indians, try to be a brave enemy of ours. But Allah has given us mean enemy like you. Just wait for another big news from Russia in the shape of SU-35 deal. love to see Indian burning every now and than over every stani defense deal.
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