F-16 sale to Pakistan: We’re not in a ‘single-issue relationship’ with US, says India

“(The U.S.) said F-16s will be used for combating terrorism. We do not agree with that rationale”

February 18, 2016 06:59 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 05:08 am IST - New Delhi

Sticking to its position, India on Thursday said it disagreed with the U.S. rationale that supply of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan will help combat terrorism but at the same time noted that its ties with Washington were not a single-issue relationship.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the U.S. decision to sell eight F-16 jets “will create negative sentiment” in the India-U.S. relationship.

“We have our concerns and we do not agree with their rationale. They said F-16s will be used for combating terrorism. It will be to fight against terrorists. We do not agree with that rationale,” Mr. Swarup said.

However, Mr. Swarup added that the relationship with the U.S. “is not a single issue relationship”.

Rejecting India’s disappointment over the issue, the Pentagon had on Wednesday said the decision to sell the F-16 jets to Pakistan should not be a cause of concern for New Delhi as the regional security situation was taken into account.

“We >don’t think it should cause concern for India,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook had said.

Asked about Pakistan’s view that it was >“surprised and disappointed” over India’s reaction to the U.S. decision, Mr. Swarup said it was on expected lines.

“We are not surprised at the Pakistani reaction. That was on expected lines,” he said.

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