F-16 Sale Not Good For Ties with Pakistan: India
(Source: Indian Government news; issued July 4, 2006)
Objecting to the US decision to sell 18 F16 fighter jets to Pakistan, India said the move is "not conducive" to the improvement of ties between New Delhi and Islamabad.

India pointed out that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had during his meeting with US President George W Bush expressed "disappointment" over such a move.

"This step is not conducive to improving ties between India and Pakistan," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters here when referred to the Bush administration's approval of sale of 18 new F-16 fighter jets with an option of offering 18 more to Islamabad as part of a USD five billion weapons deal.

Sarna said this issue had been a subject of discussions between India and the US and New Delhi was reiterating its position on the matter.

The Bush administration has notified about the proposed sale to the Congress which has 30 days to review the offer. Unless Congress passes a legislation to block the deal, it will go ahead.

The package sent to the Congress includes the approval of sale of 18 new fighter jets with an option for Pakistan to buy another 18.

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