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India Summons U.S. Ambassador Over Fighter Sale To Pakistan


The Indian Foreign Ministry has summoned the U.S. ambassador to India to protest Washington's decision to approve the sale of eight Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, along with training, radar, and other equipment.

Spokesman Vikas Swarup had said earlier on Twitter that Pakistan's regional rival is "disappointed" by the proposed sales.

"We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism," Swarup wrote.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which coordinates such foreign arms sales, said it informed the U.S. Congress of the planned sales, worth $699 million, on February 12.

The agency said the sales would "improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia."

The F-16 aircraft would allow Pakistan's Air Force to operate at night and in all kinds of weather, while "enhancing Pakistan's ability to conduct counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations," the agency said.

The U.S. defense agency insisted that the sales would "not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa