Sale of F-16 jets to Pakistan should not be of concern to India: Pentagon

WASHINGTON: The Obama Administration’s decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan should not be a cause of concern for India as the regional security situation was taken into account at the time of sale, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

“We don’t think it should cause concern for India,” said Peter Cook, Pentagon press secretary, according to The Hindu.

“We think this is a capability that will help Pakistan in its counterterrorism effort and we think that’s in the national security interests of the United States,” Cook said responding to questions on India’s disappointment over sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan.

The Obama Administration said on February 13 it had decided to sell eight nuclear-capable F-16 fighter jets worth nearly $700 million to Pakistan.

India had summoned US Ambassador Richard Verma to convey its “displeasure and disappointment” over the decision.

F-16s would allow Pakistan’s Air Force to operate in all-weather environments and at night, while improving its self-defense capability and bolstering its ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

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