US military sales to Pakistan irk India

Indian minister says they have conveyed their concerns to US over military sales worth $952 million to Pakistan

Web Desk July 23, 2015
Pakistan had requested 15 AH-1Z Viper helicopters made by the Bell arm of Textron Inc. PHOTO:

India on Thursday expressed concerns to the United States over the sale of missiles and attack helicopters to Pakistan while asking them to consider the impact on India's security before firming up such supplies.

"Government has sensitised the US of our concerns on US military sales to Pakistan. Government has consistently conveyed to the US that it must take into account India, US relations and the impact on India's security in deciding its military assistance to Pakistan," Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, in a written letter.

Responding to a question, Swaraj said the Indian government keeps a constant watch on all developments that could impact the country's national interest and would take all necessary actions to safeguard it.

Read: US State Department approves Pakistan's request for arms worth $1b

"Most recently, we have noted that the US State Department made a determination approving possible foreign military sales to Pakistan of AH-1Z Viper Attack helicopters, AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $952 million," she added.

Read: Paris Air Show: Pakistan’s first JF-17 export order irks India

The sale of $952 million worth of attack helicopters, missiles and other defence equipment to Pakistan was approved by the US earlier in April, to help the country with its counter-terrorism operation. However, the US assured that the deal would 'not alter' the military balance in the region.

Further, Pakistan’s first export order of the JF-17 ‘Thunder’ fighter aircraft at the first day of the International Paris Air Show has left India much concerned. Pakistan was successful in securing its first ever export order for its JF-17 Thunder fighter at the first day of the International Paris Air Show where a contract was confirmed to have been signed with an Asian country, Indian media reported on Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on The Economic Times.

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