HomeIndiaUS has 'limited security partnership' with Pakistan: Pentagon

US has ‘limited security partnership’ with Pakistan: Pentagon

New Delhi: The Pentagon has said it has a “limited security partnership” with Pakistan, key comments in the backdrop of Washington’s recent announcement of a $450 million package for Islamabad to maintain its F16 fleet. The Biden government’s decision, which was announced earlier this month, reverses the previous Trump government’s decision and helps Pakistan maintain its F16 programme. Speaking to a select group of journalists, US Assistant Sec of Defense Dr Eli S Ratner informed that the US is in talks with its Indian counterparts on the issue “before the announcement” and during the “mini 2+”. 2 which happened in Delhi earlier this month. Dr Eli Ratner, Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State (South and Central Asian Affairs) along with Indian diplomat Vani Rao were in Delhi for the India-USA 2+2 Inter-sessional Dialogue. Rao is Additional Secretary (USA) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Ratner said, “It’s important to be as transparent as we are with Indian counterparts before and during the decision, and a good opportunity for health exchanges on the US argument for a limited security partnership with Pakistan, and India’s concern.” Good opportunity to hear can be about both. That”. Following the US announcement on F16, US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin and Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to each other, with the latter raising New Delhi’s concerns. There is no upgrade included in the package.

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Responding to the question, the Pentagon official also clarified that the package was “not designed as a message to India, as it pertains to its ties to Russia.” He added that “the decision around the F16 issue within the US government was based on US interest in our defense partnership with Pakistan, which primarily focuses on terrorism and nuclear security”. The US comments come even as Pakistani PM Shahbaz Sharif is in New York.

Defense relations between India and the US have grown significantly over the years. In 2016, the defense relationship was designated as a Major Defense Partnership (MDP). Several defense agreements have been signed in recent years. These include the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (August 2016); Memorandum of Intent between the US Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defense Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defense Excellence (2018); Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (September 2018); Industrial Safety Agreement (December 2019); Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (October 2020).

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