- India has also been wondering what the point of letting Pakistan upgrade its fleet is, since it's not likely to stop Pakistan from working with China on defence.
- The decision was changed by the administration at a time when India and the US are having trouble getting along because India doesn't want to condemn Russia's actions in Ukraine like the West does.
Last week, India sent a strong protest to the US about its decision to approve a $ 450 million package to keep Pakistan’s old F-16 fleet running. It is thought that the protest came in the form of a sharp rebuke to Donald Lu, the US assistant secretary of state for south and central Asian affairs. The rebuke was about both the content and timing of the decision.
The package for Pakistan was announced while top US officials, including Lu, were in India for a US-India 2+2 Intersessional Meeting and Maritime Security Dialogue. The Trump administration had decided in 2018 to stop giving this kind of help to Islamabad. Lu also led the US team at a meeting of senior officials from the Quad.
Even though the Indian government doesn’t think this change will stop the relationship from getting better, it is upset that the US didn’t tell it about a policy decision that could have serious effects on India’s security.
After the US announcement, the issue was brought up strongly in all of Lu’s meetings, and he was told that the government expected the US to be more aware of India’s security interests. India hasn’t said anything about it in public yet. The US has said that the maintenance package won’t include “new capabilities, weapons, or munitions.”
The 2+2 talks were on September 7, and the maritime talks were the next day, on September 8. During these meetings, the US told Congress that it was going to propose a Foreign Military Sales case to keep Pakistan’s F-16 programme going.
A spokesperson for the State Department said that Pakistan was an important partner in the fight against terrorism, and that “as part of a long-standing policy, the US provides life cycle maintenance and sustainment packages for platforms made in the US.”
India will still be the main target of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, the government thinks, even if some of the planes are too old or can’t fly. India has also been wondering what the point of letting Pakistan upgrade its fleet is, since it’s not likely to stop Pakistan from working with China on defence.
There have been rumours that the US would give Pakistan a reward for letting the US use its airspace to kill Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri, as claimed by the Taliban. However, India’s government does not know of any such “deal.” Pakistan has also said that what the Taliban said is not true.
In 2018, when Trump was in office, the US stopped giving Pakistan military aid because it was said that Pakistan wasn’t doing enough to stop terror groups. The decision was changed by the administration at a time when India and the US are having trouble getting along because India doesn’t want to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine like the West does. India has also bought more energy from Russia, which has made a lot of people in the West nervous, and PM