india concern military aid

Pakistani F-16 fighter perform during a Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2018. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — India Aug. 1 said it has expressed grave concern to the U.S. over its decision to provide military assistance to Pakistan, days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington.

India has taken up the matter with the U.S. envoy in Delhi and with the U.S. government in Washington through the Indian ambassador there.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: "We have expressed grave concern over U.S. military assistance to Pakistan. The U.S. side has told us that the proposed sale does not indicate any change in the U.S. policy of maintaining a freeze in military assistance to Pakistan."

He said the U.S. has "publicly stated that the proposed sale is intended to enable the U.S. to continue technical and logistics support services to assist in the oversight of the operations of F-16 aircraft in Pakistan's inventory.”

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement last week: "The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of $125 million."

The Pentagon delivered the required certification notifying the Congress of this possible sale.

According to the statement, Pakistan had requested a continuation of technical support services in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 program.

Pakistan has used F-16s against India, including in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrike by India.

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