The US government clarified on Monday that the country’s relations with India and Pakistan place distinct emphasises, a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar questioned the justification behind the US’ F-16 support to Islamabad.
Ned Price, a representative for the State Department, said: “We don’t view our relationship with Pakistan, and on the other hand, we don’t view our relationship with India as in relation to one another. These are both partners of ours with different points of emphasis in each.”
The Biden administration approved a $450 million F-16 fleet sustainment programme for Pakistan at the beginning of this month, overturning the Trump administration’s decision to halt military assistance to Islamabad for harbouring the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.
“The support for the people of Afghanistan is something we discuss regularly with our Pakistani partners; our efforts to improve the lives and livelihoods and humanitarian conditions of the Afghan people, and to see to it that the Taliban live up to the commitments that they have made,” he added.
He made note of how the death toll resulting from the extreme rains that have devastated large regions of Pakistan has been of special concern to the United States. “We have provided tens of millions of dollars in relief for these floods. The Secretary today will have additional details on further US assistance for the Pakistani people, in light of this humanitarian emergency that Pakistanis are facing,” he added.