India Conveys ‘Grave Concern’ over US Military Assistance to Pak

The US envoy was called to South Block & a protest was lodged with him over the US decision to help Pak militarily.

Published01 Aug 2019, 07:28 PM IST
2 min read

India has conveyed its "grave concern" to the US over its decision to provide military assistance to Pakistan.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday, 1 August, said the issue was taken up with the US Ambassador in New Delhi and with the Trump administration in Washington, news agency PTI reported.

“We have taken up the matter with the US Ambassador in Delhi, as well as with the US government in Washington through our Ambassador. We have expressed grave concern over US military assistance to Pakistan.”
Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson, External Affairs Ministry

Sources told PTI that the US envoy was called to South Block and a protest was lodged with him over the US decision to help Pakistan militarily.

Last week, the Pentagon notified the Congress of its decision to approve military sales worth USD 125 million that would result in the monitoring of the F-16 fighter jets of Pakistan.

The notification came days after a meeting between President Donald Trump and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in White House.

“The US side has told us that the proposed sale does not indicate any change in the US policy of maintaining a freeze in military assistance to Pakistan.”
Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson, External Affairs Ministry

"US has publicly stated that the proposed sale is intended to enable the US to continue technical and logistics support services to assist in the oversight of the operations of F-16 aircraft in Pakistan's inventory," Kumar reportedly said.

Pakistan had used the F-16 fighter jets against India in its retaliation to Balakot strikes in February.

The Pentagon asserted that the proposed military assistance will not alter the basic military balance in the region, according to PTI.

Top-Level Indian Defence Team Reaches US to Discuss Security Issues

Meanwhile, a top-level Indian delegation headed by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra reached Washington on Thursday and is expected to discuss military relations between the two countries, news agency ANI reported.

During the three-day visit, the Indian side will hold meetings with the top US officials and discuss issues affecting ties between the two countries.

"During the meetings between the two sides, the Indian delegation is expected to clear its position regarding the purchase of the S-400 air defence missile system that India is purchasing from Russia under a Rs 39,500 crore deal signed last year," ANI quoted its sources as saying.

The Americans have reportedly objected to the purchase of air defence missile system from Russia.

Asked about the strain in trade ties between India and the US, Kumar on Thursday said:

“We are approaching the matter relating to trade in a very positive and constructive manner”.

In July this year, a high-level trade delegation from the US had visited India to find ways to resolve the issues.

Trade ties between the two sides have come under strain after the US in June announced its decision to end preferential trade status for India. As a retaliatory measure, India also announced raising tariffs on 29 goods imported from the US.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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