US assures India technical support for Pakistan’s F-16 not to affect regional balance of power
ISLAMABAD: The United States has assured India that the technical and logistics support for Pakistan’s F-16 programme will not affect balance of power in the region.
The United States State Department on Saturday made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Pakistan for Technical Security Team in continued support of the F-16 programme for an estimated cost of 125 million dollars.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has delivered the required certification notifying the Congress of this possible sale.
The government of Pakistan had requested a continuation of technical support services; the US government and contractor technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive, advanced F-16 program.
India has reacted strongly to this news saying that it should be reviewed that how this step could affect it. While, the US secretary of defense has assured India that it would not affect balance of power in the region, Dawn newspaper’s Washington-based reporter Anwar Iqbal revealed in a Facebook live chat.
It is pertinent to mention that the Trump administration has in the same breath approved foreign military sales worth $670 million to support India’s C-17 military transport aircraft. India had requested the US to buy it equipment for C-17 follow-on support, to include spares and repair parts, support equipment, and personnel training and training equipment.
The US assistance will pave the way for strong bilateral military-to-military relations with Pakistan. In a statement earlier, the newly appointed Joint Chiefs of Staff, four-star US Army General Mark Milley had said that the US should restore military relations with Pakistan for it was an important country in the most important region.