Rajnath Singh Dials US Defense Secy, Conveys Concern On $450 Mn Package For Pak’s F-16 Jets


New Delhi: India conveyed its concern over the recent decision of the US to provide sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet to help the country meet current and future counterterrorism threats, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.

According to reports, the Defense Minister had a telephonic conversation with the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin.

“We discussed growing convergence of strategic interests and enhanced defense and security cooperation. We also discussed ways to strengthen technological and industrial collaboration and also explore cooperation in emerging and critical technologies,” tweeted Singh.

“I conveyed India’s concern at the recent US decision to provide sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet. Look forward to continuing dialogue with Secretary Austin to further consolidating India-US partnership,” Singh further wrote.

It is to be noted that the US, recently, has planned to provide Foreign Military Sales (FMS) worth USD 450 million for hardware, software and spares for the F-16 fighter fleet of Pakistan.

Earlier, in 2018, Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump had suspended about USD 2 billion in security aid to Pakistan for failing to clamp down on the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network terror groups and dismantle their safe havens in the country.

However, early this week, in a notification to the US Congress, the State Department said it approved a possible foreign military sale of F-16 case for sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 450 million, and added that it will sustain Islamabad’s capability to meet current and future counterterrorism threats by maintaining its F-16 fighter jets.


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