Pakistan

Pakistan ‘disappointed’ over India’s reaction on US F16s sale

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday expressed disappointment at the Indian government’s reaction regarding purchase of F-16s from the United States.

In response to media queries, Foreign Office Spokesperson said in Islamabad that Indian government’s reaction surprised and disappointed Pakistan.

He said India is the largest importer of defence equipment and its arms and arsenal stock is much larger than Pakistan.

As regards F-16s sale, the spokesperson said Pakistan and the United States closely cooperate in countering terrorism.

He said the US spokesperson clearly announced that the sale is to enhance Pakistan’s precision strike capability.

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

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.

One U.S. 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.

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