Washington: The United States on Saturday pulled up Pakistan for the ‘potential misuse’ of American-made F-16 fighter jets against India during an aerial raid targeting Indian military installations in Kashmir in violation of the end-user agreement. The development came two days after the Indian Air Force (IAF) displayed parts of an AMRAAM beyond visual range air-to-air missile as evidence to the same. Also Read - India Records Over 1.6 Lakh Cases in Last 24 Hours, Surpasses Brazil to Become Second Most COVID-hit Country After US
On Wednesday, Pakistan had categorically said that no F-16 fighter jets were used and denied that one of its planes had been downed by the Indian Air Force. Also Read - PSL 2021 Schedule: Despite COVID-19 Surge, Pakistan Super League to Resume From June 1
“We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” a State Department spokesperson told PTI when asked about report that Pakistan has violated end-user agreement with the United States in this week’s border clash with India. Also Read - Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju Inaugurates Rowing Centre in Srinagar
Lt Col Kone Faulkner, a Defense Department spokesperson, told PTI, “Due to non-disclosure agreements in Foreign Military Sales contracts, we cannot discuss the specifics of end user-agreements contained within.”
The United States, which is the largest seller of high-tech defence equipment globally, and has a strong end-user monitoring agreement, as a matter of practice takes all allegations of misuse of defense articles very seriously. But before making any judgement or arriving at any conclusion, it needs to establish some facts on the ground, if there has been any violation by Pakistan to the F-16 end-user agreement it signed by the United States.
According to Pentagon’s Defense Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA) F-16 jets were meant to be used to “enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations”.
As per publicly available documents, the US has imposed nearly a dozen restriction on Pakistan related to its use of F-16.
Pakistan on Wednesday violated Indian airspace in revenge to India’s ‘pre-emptive’ strikes on three camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), killing nearly 300 militants, in wake of dastardly Pulwama terror attack.
(Inputs from PTI)