US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price (Photo: Reuters)
A day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar raised questions over the "merits" of the US-Pakistan relationship, the US State Department said on Monday it does not view ties with Islamabad and New Delhi in relation to one another.
When asked a question about Jaishankar's comments, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, "Well, 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, and we look to both as partners because we do have in many cases shared values, We do have in many cases shared interests," Price said in response to a question on the Indian foreign minister's criticism of USD 450 million sustenance package for Pakistan's F-16 fleet.
He said the relationship that the US shares with both India and Pakistan stands on its own. "We also want to do everything we can to see to it that these neighbours have relations with one another that are as constructive as can be possible. And so that's another point of emphasis," he added.
Earlier, the external affairs minister said that Washington's ties with Islamabad had not served the "American interest". He made these remarks during an event organized by the Indian American community in Washington on Sunday.
The remarks were made when the Indian minister was questioned by the audience on US action on F-16 fighter jets with Pakistan. Earlier this month, US State Department approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of Pakistan for the sustainability of the Pakistan Air Force F-16 fleet and equipment at the cost of USD 450 million.
India promptly conveyed its concerns over Washington's decision to provide a sustenance package for Pakistan's F-16 fleet. "It's really for the United States today to reflect on the merits of this relationship and what they get by it," Jaishankar asserted.
"For someone to say I am doing this because it is all counter-terrorism content and so when you are talking of an aircraft like a capability of an F-16 where everybody knows, you know where they are deployed and their use. You are not fooling anybody by saying these things," Jaishankar noted.
"If I were to speak to an American policymaker, I would really make the case (that) look what you are doing," Jaishankar strongly asserted.
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First Published: Sep 27 2022 | 12:34 PM IST