US Vows To Deeper Defense Ties With India After It Slammed Biden Administration For F-16 Deal With Pakistan

The Biden administration promised to strengthen defense ties with India after a minister in the Narendra Modi government criticized the Biden administration’s $450-million package to maintain and upgrade Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets.

What Happened: India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attacked the U.S. argument that it was sending F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan to meet “current and future counterterrorism threats.” Expressing his displeasure further, Jaishankar said, “You are not fooling anybody by saying these things.”

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Referring to the argument made by the U.S. that F-16 package is to meet "counterterrorism threats", Jaishankar said “When you are talking of an aircraft like a capability of an F-16” everybody knows “where they are deployed and their use,” according to Indian news agency ANI.

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On the same day, the U.S. secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, pledged to boost U.S.-Indian cooperation as he welcomed his counterpart at the Pentagon, hosting an honor cordon. The two leaders discussed “new opportunities for bilateral defense industrial cooperation in support of India’s contributions as a regional security provider.”

Pentagon said the U.S. “looks forward to working with India and like-minded partners to promote security, prosperity, and transparency” in the Indo-Pacific.

Jaishankar, talking about the US-Pakistan relationship, said, "Very honestly, it's a relationship that has neither ended up serving Pakistan well nor serving the American interests. So, it is really for the United States today to reflect on what are the merits of this relationship and what do they get by it."

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalGeneralEurasiaIndiaJoe BidenNarendra ModiPakistanPentagon
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