F-16 to Pak: What’s the net result of so-called Modi-Obama friendship, asks Congress

New Delhi, Feb. 13 (ANI): With the United States turning volte-face and deciding to decision to notify the sale of eight F-16 Fighting Falcons to Pakistan, the Congress Party in a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday sought to know from the NDA Government as to what is the net result of the so-called friendship between the Indian Prime Minister and U.S President Barak Obama.

“The so-called friendship between the Indian Prime Minister and the US President, which was very much publicised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and this government, what is the net result now,” asked P.C Chacko.

“It shows the miserable failure of Indo-U.S. relations and India conveying its opinion on matters to the U.S. or convincing the US,” he added.

Till recently, the US was taking a position that Pakistan was inhibiting and supporting terrorism, and they would not do any kind of arms deal with a country like Pakistan which harbours terrorism, he said referring to the U.S officials statement that it would become very difficult for their government to convince the Republican-controlled Congress to approve the sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan, if Islamabad is seen as reluctant in taking action against these terrorist groups.

“After this public stand, now if they (the US) have decided to do that, that means the U.S. is not at all concerned with India’s concerns, which is a miserable failure of the India’s foreign policy, especially towards America,” Chacko added.

The Pakistan Government has, so far, not taken any tangible action on the evidences provided by India with regard to the Pathankot attack.

The U.S. decision to notify the sale of F-16 Fighting Falcons comes at a time when a prime accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror David Coleman Headley testifying the roles of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Islamabad’s backdoor support to terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in perpetrating terrorism in India.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned United States (U.S.) Ambassador to India Richard Verma this morning and expressed India’s disappointment over the Barak Obama Administration’s decision to notify the sale of eight F-16 Fighting Falcons to Pakistan.

According to MEA sources, Ambassador Verma met Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar at South Block this morning, though it was not clear immediately as to what the MEA had conveyed to him during the nearly half an hour-long meeting.

“We are disappointed at the decision of the Obama Administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircrafts to Pakistan. We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help combat terrorism. The record of the last many years in this regard speaks for itself,” the MEA said in a statement,” the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a statement, adding that “U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma would be summoned to convey the government’s displeasure”.

Earlier too, India had expressed disappointment over reports that the U.S. Government had, during the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the U.S, notified the U.S. Congress about a proposed sale of eight F-16 fighters to Pakistan and also to offer a civil nuclear deal to them.

As per reports, the U.S. is selling the eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan at a cost of 69.90 billion dollars.

The Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency said it had notified lawmakers about the possible deal.

The agency said the F-16s would allow Pakistan’s Air Force to operate in all-weather environments and at night, while improving its self-defence capability and bolstering its ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter terrorism operations. (ANI)

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