US Expects “Action Against Terrorist Groups” As It Extends Aid To Pak’s F-16 Fleet
Even though it has approved a USD 450 million programme to keep Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets running, the US still expects Islamabad to “take sustained action against all terrorist groups,” according to a local news source, Dawn. With this, it’s becoming more and more clear that Pakistan can’t avoid answering questions about terrorism, which is one of the most important issues.
This is the opposite of what the previous government led by Donald Trump did. They had approved a USD 450 million programme to keep Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets in good shape.
In 2018, Donald Trump cut off all defence and security aid to Pakistan, saying that Islamabad was not a partner in the fight against terrorism. The Pakistani government had asked for help with its F-16 fleet, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
Concerning the US support package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, the State Department said that even though the US sees Pakistan as an important partner in fighting terrorism, it still expects Pakistan to keep fighting terrorist groups. This was reported by Dawn.
During a press briefing, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the US State Department, said that he was worried about the ban on Pakistan’s ARY News. “We’re still worried about the many restrictions on the media and civil society in Pakistan… We talk about our worries about press freedom with everyone around the world, including our partners and our counterparts in Pakistan, on a regular basis “Price said.
He also said that Washington was “worried that restrictions on media and content, as well as a lack of accountability for attacks on journalists, would hurt the freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and association.” Price said that nine US Central Command flights had delivered more than half of the 630 metric tonnes of relief supplies from USAID’s Dubai warehouse as a show of support for Pakistan in the wake of the devastating floods that have hit the South Asian country. This was reported by Dawn.
“Overall, CENTCOM will fly in more than 41,000 kitchen sets, 1,500 rolls of plastic sheeting, tens of thousands of plastic tarps, and 8,700 shelter repair kits to help USAID with flood relief.” Price also said that in this fiscal year alone, the US had given more than USD 53 million in humanitarian aid. This included urgently needed help with food, nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, and shelter.
It is important to note that Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh talked to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the phone about India’s concerns about the US support package for Pakistan’s F-16 fleet. The two leaders talked about how their strategic interests were becoming more similar and how they could work together better.
India is a key part of the Indo-Pacific strategy of US President Joe Biden’s administration, and the Indian Foreign and Defense Ministers recently met with their American counterparts at a “2+2” meeting.
Today, the India-US bilateral partnership covers a wide range of topics, such as the response to Covid-19, the recovery of the economy after a pandemic, the climate crisis and sustainable development, critical and emerging technologies, the resilience of supply chains, education, the diaspora, defence and security, and more.