India gets an embarrassing blow from US over yet another objection on F - 16 deal with Pakistan
India and Pakistan are both partners of the US with different points of emphasis, the Biden administration said Monday, a day after visiting External Affairs Minister Jaishankar questioned the rationale behind the latest American F-16 security assistance to Islamabad.
This was stated by US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price during the State Department’s press briefing.
He was responding to a reporter’s question regarding the comment made by Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar asking the US to review its relations with Pakistan and criticized the Biden administration for authorizing $450 million for the F-16 program.
Jaishankar had that said everybody knows where and against whom F-16 fighter jets are used. “You’re not fooling anybody by saying these things,” he said in response to a question during an interaction with Indian-Americans.
“We don’t view our relationship with Pakistan, and on the other hand, we don’t view our relationship with India as in relation to one another. These are both partners of ours with different points of emphasis in each,” Ned Price told reporters at his daily news briefing.
“We look to both as partners, because we do have in many cases shared values. We do have in many cases shared interests. And the relationship we have with India stands on its own. The relationship we have with Pakistan stands on its own,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration approved a $450 million F-16 fighter jet fleet sustainment programme to Pakistan, reversing the decision of the previous Trump administration to suspend military aid to Islamabad for providing safe havens for the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.
“We also want to do everything we can to see to it that these neighbours have relations with one another that are as constructive as can be possible. So that’s another point of emphasis,” Price said in response to a question.
Responding to another question if Pakistan aided the Taliban in a way that allowed them to come into Kabul, Price said, “it was not in Pakistan’s interest to see instability and violence in Afghanistan. It is not in Pakistan’s interest to see instability and violence in Afghanistan.”
“The support for the people of Afghanistan is something we discuss regularly with our Pakistani partners; our efforts to improve the lives and livelihoods and humanitarian conditions of the Afghan people, and to see to it that the Taliban live up to the commitments that they have made,” he added.