New Delhi, Feb. 13 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned United States (U.S.) Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Saturday 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”.
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.
Moreover, the Pakistan Government has, so far, not taken any tangible action on the evidences provided by India with regard to the Pathankot attack. After the Pathankot terror attack, the U.S officials had said 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.
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)