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F-16 sale to Pakistan to help fight terrorism: US envoy

152 Days ago

New Delhi: US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Monday reiterated that Washington's decision to sell F-16 combat aircraft to Pakistan was to help it fight terrorism.

"Our security partnership with Pakistan was made clear," Verma said while answering questions after delivering a lecture on "Indo-US strategic partnership: Present status and future trends"

"The tools that were provided were to address a specific counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency threat," he said.

The Barack Obama administration's decision to sell eight F-16 combat aircraft to Pakistan earlier this month had riled the Indian establishment.

The external affairs ministry said in a statement that India was "disappointed" at the decision of the US to notify the sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan.

"We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism. The record of the last many years in this regard speaks for itself," it added.

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar also summoned Verma and put across India's concerns candidly.

On Monday, Verma also said that the relationship that the US has with India stood on its own. (IANS)

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