India to ask US to desist from arms sale to Pak

Last Updated 02 March 2019, 16:30 IST

India will use evidence of Pakistan Air Force using American F-16 aircraft for intrusion into its airspace on Wednesday to convince the United States against selling fighter jets and other advanced military hardware to Pakistan in future.

India will convey to the American government to desist from entering into any defence deal with Pakistan that could alter the military balance in the region, sources in New Delhi said.

New Delhi has already shared with the American government the pictures of the fragments of the AIM-120 C-5 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (with markings FA-8675-05-C-0070), which was fired from an F-16 fighter aircraft of Pakistan Air Force targeting a military installation in India.

The missile manufactured by US firm Raytheon can only be fired from an F-16 fighter aircraft.

Sources told DH that a dossier containing more details about the missile fragments and other relevant information would be shared with the US state and defence departments soon through the American Embassy in New Delhi as well as the Embassy of India in Washington D.C.

New Delhi is also likely to make the members of the American Congress aware of Pakistan's use of F-16 aircraft for an air offensive against India.

India in February 2016 had sharply reacted to the US government’s decision to sell eight more F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Pakistan.

India rejected the US argument that the sale of the aircraft to Pakistan would help it combat terrorism and would not alter the military balance in South Asia region.

The proposed 2016 deal had a provision for the US partly financing the cost of the eight aircraft to be purchased by Pakistan. The American Congress, however, finally blocked the move, partly as a result of the lobbying by Embassy of India in Washington D.C. among the US lawmakers.

New Delhi has been consistently conveying to Washington D.C. that the US must take into account its relations with India and the impact on India’s security in deciding its military assistance to Pakistan.

The PAF has over 80 F-16 aircraft, which Pakistan had been procuring from the US since the mid-1980s. The Pressler Amendment sponsored by US Senator Larry Pressler in 1990, however, had made it difficult for Pakistan to get the F-16s from America.

(Published 02 March 2019, 15:31 IST)

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