Sale of F-16s to Pakistan should not be of concern to India, says Pentagon

WASHINGTON: The United States’ Defense Department said on Tuesday the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan should not be of concern to India and the deal took into account the regional security situation, according to state-run APP news agency.

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“United States looks at its relations with Pakistan separate from that of with India,” Pentagon’s Press Secretary Petro Cook said in response to India’s reaction over the sale of F-16s to Pakistan, at a briefing.

“We think that the fighter jets are important capabilities for Pakistan to go after terrorists,” he said, adding that ‘it should not be of concern to India’.

The U.S. 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 neighboring arch-rival expressed disappointment at the sale of aircrafts by Obama administration to help Pakistan in its counter-terrorism operations.

Pakistan in return said it was surprised over Indian reaction to the proposed F-16 deal.

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