NATIONAL

India unhappy with U.S. aid to Pakistan

India on Thursday expressed “grave concern” over the recent U.S. military assistance to Pakistan, and stated that it had conveyed its concerns to Washington.

“We have taken up the matter with the U.S. Ambassador in Delhi, as well as with the U.S. government in Washington through our Ambassador. We have expressed grave concern over U.S. military assistance to Pakistan. The U.S. side has told us that the proposed sale does not indicate any change in the U.S. policy of maintaining a freeze in military assistance to Pakistan,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at the weekly press conference.

The U.S. had publicly stated that the proposed sale was intended to enable it to continue technical and logistics support services to assist in the oversight of the operations of F-16 fighter aircraft in Pakistan's inventory, he said.

However, official sources emphasised that the concern expressed was not just for the supply of F-16 parts, but for the “signs of growing military cooperation and resumption of military supplies” by the U.S. to Pakistan.

Last week, days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington, the State Department approved a military assistance package for “continued support” of the F-16 programme.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 programme for an estimated cost of $125 million,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement after delivering the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale on July 26. Pakistan, which has long operated the F-16s, recently deployed them against India during the aerial engagement on February 27, a day after the Balakot air strike by India.

The U.S. side has said the sale does not indicate change in the freeze in military assistance

Raveesh KumarSpokesperson

External Affairs Ministry

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