NEW DELHI: A ‘disappointed’ India summoned on Saturday United States envoy in New Delhi, Richard Verma, over Obama administration’s decision to sell eight Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, along with training, radar and other equipment, a deal worth $699 million.
“We are disappointed at the decision of the Obama Administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said on Twitter.
“The US ambassador will be summoned by the ministry of external affairs to convey our displeasure.”
Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar later met the US ambassador at the ministry to convey India’s disapproval of the deal to Washington, in a meeting which lasted 45 minutes, reported The Hindu.
The Obama administration notified the Congress on Friday that it planned to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, with a State Department spokesman saying that US weapon sales to Pakistan contributed to the fight against terrorism and furthered America’s foreign policy interests.
The remarks followed a move by some US lawmakers and a campaign in the US media to stop the Obama administration from selling eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
Although Congress has delayed the proposed sale, the administration still seems interested in pushing it through, insisting that it’s in vital US interests to do so.
“We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism,” Swarup said. “The record of the last many years in this regard speaks for itself.”