F-16 sale ‘part of legacy announcement’: US Envoy Richard Verma

Verma maintained that Islamabad needs to act against terror groups operating on its soil


Geetanjali Minhas | February 15, 2016 | Mumbai

US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma termed the sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan as "part of a legacy announcement".  He, however, was quick to add that his country expects Islamabad to do "more" on eliminating terror safe havens on its soil.

“There are technical processes like the Congressional ratification,”  he said further adding, “Over the years our assistance to Pakistan have been a mix of civilian and military equipment.” The US envoy was talking at the CNN Asia Business Forum at the 'Make in India' week in Mumbai.

“It will surprise people that two-thirds of our aid to Pakistan is civilian aid...for energy, education, infrastructure and public development, he informed.

"Our policy in Pakistan is to support the moderate elements, to support democracy. There is a big counter-terrorism insurgency component as well. The reality is that there are dangerous groups operating within Pakistan," said the US Ambassador.

Verma maintained that Islamabad needs to act against terror groups operating on its soil "More action needs to be taken by Pakistan on terror groups. Safe havens need to be eliminated.”

Verma's comments came a day after the Obama administration notified the US Congress of its decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to
Pakistan worth nearly US $700 million.

Reacting strongly, India later summoned Verma to convey its "displeasure and disappointment" over the Obama administration's decision to sell F-16 jets to Pakistan.





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