F-16 jets are to fight terrorism in Pakistan: Ashton Carter assures India

India has expressed concern over the US decision to sell eight F-16s to Pakistan, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar conveying the government's concerns to Carter, who is presently visiting India.

IANS April 13, 2016 07:44:36 IST
F-16 jets are to fight terrorism in Pakistan: Ashton Carter assures India

New Delhi:  The US takes terror emanating from Pakistan "very seriously" and the F-16 fighter jets have been given to it to fight terrorism, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said on Tuesday.

"We take terrorism emanating from Pakistan very seriously," Carter said.

India has expressed concern over the US decision to sell eight F-16s to Pakistan, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar conveying the government's concerns to Carter, who is presently visiting India.

At a joint press conference with Parrikar, on being asked if the US was trying to be a trusted ally of India while supplying the F-16 fighters to Pakistan, Carter said, "We do try to be trusted partner of India."

F16 jets are to fight terrorism in Pakistan Ashton Carter assures India

A file photo of Ashton Carter. Reuters

He said the US has given some unique technologies to India. "We don't have an agreement like that with other countries."

Asked about the same issue, Parrikar said he did express his concerns to Carter and the US defence secretary assured him the fighter jets would be used to fight terrorism.

Drawing a parallel with India's relations with Russia, Carter said the US values its relations with Pakistan.

"India also has relations with other countries like Russia. We respect that," he said.

"What we do in Pakistan is directed towards counter terrorism. We too have suffered from terrorism emanating from the territory, more specifically Afghanistan," Carter said.

"Pakistan has used F-16 in operations in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). We have approved it. We take terrorism emanating from Pakistan very seriously," Carter added.

He also said the US did not want any conflict between India and Pakistan.

The US confirmed in mid-February the supply to Pakistan of eight F-16 fighter aircraft worth $699.04 million despite protests from India.

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