Home / News / India /  ‘You are not fooling anybody…’ EAM Jaishankar on US F-16 package for Pakistan

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took a sharp dig at the US deciding to send the F-16 fighter jet fleet sustainment programme to Pakistan earlier this month.

Attacking the US argument that it was sending the F-16 fighter jet for Pakistan to meet ‘current and future counterterrorism threats’, he said 'you are not fooling anybody by saying these things'

The EAM who is on a 10-day visit to the US was interacting with the Indian diaspora when he was asked a question about the India-US relationship and the US deciding to ‘sell’ the F-16 aircraft to Pakistan. 

Talking about the US-Pakistan relationship he said "Very honestly, it's a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well, nor serving the American interests. So, it is really for the United States today to reflect on what are the merits of this relationship and what do they get by it,"

Adding further he said, "It's really for the United States today to reflect on the merits of this relationship and what they get by it," 

Taking a sharp look at the way the US-Pakistan relationship has evolved in recent years he said, “If I were to speak to an American policy-maker, I would really make the case (that) look what you are doing… forget about us it's actually not good for you, look at the last 3 years on where this relationship has gone and what cost you have paid"

On F-16 aircraft he said, "For someone to say I am doing this because it is all counter-terrorism content and so when you are talking of an aircraft like a capability of an F-16 where everybody knows, you know where they are deployed and their use. You are not fooling anybody by saying these things,"

Earlier this month, the US government led by President Joe Biden decided to overturn the decision of his predecessor Donald Trump to suspend military aid to Pakistan in lieu of it providing safe havens for the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network. Biden administration, however, approved a $450 million F-16 fighter jet fleet sustainment programme for Pakistan arguing that it would sustain Islamabad's capability to meet current and future counterterrorism threats by maintaining the F-16 fleet. 

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier expressed India's concerns over the US decision to provide sustenance package for Pakistan's F-16 fleet.

Earlier, the EAM addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday(Local time) and met with UN Security Council Secretary-General Antonio Guterres along with other world leaders. 

On the Washington leg of his visit, EAM is expected to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken along with other prominent members of the Biden Administration.

 

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