After Jaishankar’s ‘fool no one’ jab, US fires back on F-16 help to Pak | World News



The United States on Tuesday defended itself against Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar’s strong attack on support for Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets, saying it did not see its relationship with Delhi and Islamabad “with each other”.

“We don’t see our relationship with Pakistan…our relationship with India…in relation to each other…both partners of ours with different points of emphasis…” State Department spokesman, NedPrice.

“We see both as partners, because in many cases we have shared values. In many cases, we have shared interests. And the relationship that we have with India stands on its own. The relationship that we have with Pakistan stands on its own,” he said.

On Sunday, Jaishankar called on the US to reflect on its relationship with Pakistan, noting that it “is not fooling anyone” by saying that support for Pak’s F-16 was intended for fighting terrorism.

“At the end of the day… to say I’m doing it for ‘counterterrorism’… you’re talking about an aircraft with the capability of an F-16 (and) everyone knows where they’re deployed. You’re not misleading anyone by saying these things.” “, said.

READ | ‘Fool no one’: Jaishankar on US support for Pakistan’s F-16s

The United States recently provided Pakistan with a $450 million package that the Pentagon called an “F-16 case for maintenance and related equipment.” Nomenclature aside, that was the first major military deal with Pak since the Trump administration halted aid in 2018.

Trump did so after saying that Islamabad had failed to act against terrorist groups on its soil.

Pakistan has a sizeable fleet of F-16s, but is dependent on US support.

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The $450 million does not include, Washington said, upgrades to aircraft capabilities or weapons, but support for a fighter used against India after the Balakot airstrikes in 2019 drew attention in Delhi.

India expressed its discontent through diplomatic channels and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh also conveyed his concern to the United States.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar, speaking at a community event in Washington, DC, was also forthright in his assessment of US-Pakistan ties.

“Very honestly, it’s a relationship that hasn’t ended up serving either Pakistan or American interests…for the United States to reflect on what the merits of the relationship are.” [are] and what they get by keeping it going.”

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