Raising concern over the reported decision of the United States to supply sophisticated arms to Pakistan, New Delhi on Thursday said Washington should ensure that the military aid was not used against India.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony expressed concern over the move to supply a whole array of sophisticated laser guided bomb kits, surveillance drones and latest-model F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
In a statement here, Mr. Antony said: “Given our bitter past experience of how Islamabad used such aid against India, Washington should ensure that the latest tranche of military aid is used only for the purpose of countering al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and not against India.”
Pentagon also decided to refurbish and expand the F-16 fighter jets Pakistan has been using since the 1980s. It also has got Cobra attack helicopters and C 130 transport aircraft from the U.S.
Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration was expanding weapon sales to India and Pakistan “in a bid to forge closer ties with each country, while creating new opportunities for American defence firms.” It said that while India paid for its own weapons, Islamabad used American grants to fund most of its arms purchases.
During the visit of U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates to Pakistan, there were reports of Pentagon willing to offer surveillance drones to Islamabad, now used in the frontier areas.
The U.S. annual military aid to Pakistan is now around $3 billion.