Home / News / India /  India, Pak partner with different points of emphasis: US response to F-16 deal

The Joe Biden administration stated on Monday that Pakistan and India are both partners of the US "with distinct points of emphasis", a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar questioned the necessity of the most recent American F-16 security assistance to Islamabad.

Everyone is aware of the locations and adversaries that F-16 fighter jets are used for, Union Minister Jaishankar said in response to the US claim that the F-16 maintenance package is intended to combat terrorism. "You're not fooling anybody by saying these things," he said in response to a question during an interaction with Indian-Americans.

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference responding to Jaishankar's remark, "We don't view our relationship with Pakistan, and on the other hand, we don't view our relationship with India as in relation to one another. These are both partners of ours with different points of emphasis in each."

Using his diplomatic rhetoric, Ned Price stated, "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."

Early this month, the Biden administration overturned the decision of the previous Trump administration to suspend military assistance to Islamabad for providing "safe havens to the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network" by approving a USD 450 million F-16 fighter jet fleet sustainment programme to Pakistan.

Responding to a question during the interaction, Price said, “We also want to do everything we can to see to it that these neighbours have relations with one another that are as constructive as can be possible. So that's another point of emphasis." 

Responding to another question, Price said it is "not in Pakistan's interest to see instability and violence in Afghanistan".

Price asserted that "the support for the people of Afghanistan is something we discuss regularly with our Pakistani partners; our efforts to improve the lives and livelihoods and humanitarian conditions of the Afghan people, and to see to it that the Taliban live up to the commitments that they have made."

According to Price, Pakistan is involved in many of the same commitments, including those related to counter-terrorism, safe passage, and the welfare of Afghan citizens. "The unwillingness or the inability on the part of the Taliban to live up to these commitments would have significant implications for Pakistan as well."

"So, for that reason, we do share a number of interests with Pakistan regarding its neighbour," Price said.

He pointed out that the United States has been particularly concerned about the destruction and fatalities brought on by the torrential floods that devastated large portions of Pakistan.

"We have provided tens of millions of dollars in relief for these floods. The Secretary today will have additional details on further US assistance for the Pakistani people, in light of this humanitarian emergency that Pakistanis are facing," he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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