Following India's criticism, United States defends its arms shipments to Pakistan
(MENAFN) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended US military sales to Pakistan in the face of criticism from India, which claims to be the intended recipient of a $450 million F-16 fighter jet contract between Washington and Islamabad.
Blinken stated during a press conference in the US capital on Tuesday that the military package agreed earlier this month was for the maintenance of Pakistan's current fleet.
“These are not new planes, new systems, new weapons. It’s sustaining what they have,” according to Blinken, who debated along with India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
“Pakistan’s programme bolsters its capability to deal with terrorist threats emanating from Pakistan or from the region. It’s in no one’s interests that those threats be able to go forward with impunity,” he added.
Blinken met with Jaishankar the day after he met with his Pakistani counterpart, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
“In our discussions … we talked about the importance of managing a responsible relationship with India,” Blinken asserted after that meeting on Monday, without explaining.
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