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Jaishankar trashes US logic for giving Pakistan $450 million package to keep F-16 fighter jets flying

A file image of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Image courtesy: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar)

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has criticised the reversal of America’s foreign policy to supply arms to Pakistan and said that Washington’s ties with Islamabad have not served the “American interest.”

“For someone to say I am doing this because it is all counter-terrorism content and so when you are talking of an aircraft with the capability of an F-16, where everybody knows where they are deployed and their use, you are not fooling anybody by saying these things,” news agency ANI cited Jaishankar as saying in Washington.

“If I were to speak to an American policy-maker, I would really make the case: look what you are doing,” he remarked.

“It’s a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well nor serving the American interests,” Jaishankar said at an event organised by the Indian American community in Washington on Sunday.

The remarks were made when members of the audience asked Jaishankar to comment on the US decision to help Pakistan sustain its fleet of F-16 fighter jets.

“It’s really for the United States today to reflect on the merits of this relationship and what they get by it,” Jaishankar asserted.

For the first time since 2018, the US State Department earlier this month,  approved a $450 million dollar package to Pakistan for sustaining the country’s F-16 fighter jet fleet which is primarily meant for use against India. However, the US had tried to justify the approval of the military package by saying that it was to help Pakistan counter terrorism.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has already conveyed to US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, India’s concerns over Washington’s decision to provide a sustenance package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet.

Jaishankar on Saturday concluded the high-level United Nations General Assembly debate in New York after which he was scheduled to spend the next three days in Washington.

The Indian minister is scheduled to meet with his American counterpart, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and other top officials.

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