US Aid To Pakistan
A day after the United States unveiled a $450 million package to upgrade Pakistan’s substantial F-16 fighter fleet with the most recent technological advancements, India remained studiously silent. The US State Department’s declaration happened against the backdrop of intersessional talks held on September 7, 2022, between senior officials from India and the US.
The Ministry of External Affairs has not yet stated whether Mr. Lu and his team informed the Indian side of the Biden administration’s declaration that will significantly increase the lethality of the Pakistan Air Force, which poses the biggest threat to India from the west and northwest.
US Aid To Pakistan: Worry For India
In spite of strong opposition from the Government of India, which worried that the aircraft would be used against Indian targets, Pakistan was the first country to acquire the F-16 aircraft package from the Ronald Reagan government in the 1980s. Indian concerns stemmed from evidence that Pakistan would equip the F-16s with nuclear weapons that it had secretly acquired. However, despite resistance from several US Congressmen and the CIA’s counter proliferation division, President Reagan approved the deal.
Following the implementation of the Pressler Amendment in 1990, the United States canceled the sale of almost 30 F-16 aircraft to Pakistan. The 1998 nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan furthered India’s worries on the threat posed by nuclear-armed F-16 aircraft in Pakistan’s air force.
More On The Matter
The strategic aircraft have been a frequent tactic in the U.S.’s diplomatic relations with Pakistan. Following the 2001 attack by al Qaeda on the World Trade Center in New York, the US delivered a $3 billion package to Pakistan for the purpose of upgrading and providing new F-16 aircraft. With a range of approximately 2000 miles, the F-16 is clearly useful against Pakistan’s main military foe, India. The George W. Bush administration’s judgement was unaffected by later revelations of a sizable terrorist network operating within Pakistan or attacks against US citizens like Daniel Pearl.
When the Obama administration was negotiating an exit strategy for the U.S. military from Afghanistan with the Pakistan-backed Taliban officials in exile in late 2015, a similar decision to provide F-16 aircraft was pass. India had angrily criticised the Obama administration’s plan to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, and the country’s then-foreign secretary, S. Jaishankar, had called US Ambassador Richard Verma and raised a strong protest against it.
What’s The Conclusion
The decision by the Biden administration to upgrade Pakistan’s F-16 aircraft fleet with the most modern weapons and electronic equipment shows that despite its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States would continue to have a strong strategic commitment to the Pakistani armed forces.
The supply of F-16 multi-role aircraft started during the Cold War and continued through the Biden administration and the post-9/11 era, demonstrating the consistency of US and Pakistan cooperation. The US support will increase the F-16 aircraft’s ability to fly precisely and provide Pakistan access to the newest air assault software developed in the US.