International

Balakot air strikes: U.S. seeks detail of ‘misuse’ of F-16 fighter aircraft

The U.S. is seeking more information from Pakistan on the potential misuse of American-made F-16 fighter jets by it against India in violation of the end-user agreement, the State Department has said.

The Indian Air Force on Thursday displayed parts of an AMRAAM beyond visual range air-to-air missile as evidence to “conclusively” prove that Pakistan deployed U.S.-manufactured F-16 fighter jets during an aerial raid targeting Indian military installations in Kashmir after India’s anti-terror operation in Balakot.

Pakistan’s denial

Pakistan on Wednesday 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.

“We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information,” a State Department spokesperson said when asked about reports that Pakistan had violated the end-user agreement with the U.S. in this week’s border clash with India.

“Due to non-disclosure agreements in Foreign Military Sales contracts, we cannot discuss the specifics of end user-agreements contained within,” Lt. Col. Kone Faulkner, a Defence Department spokesperson told PTI.

The United States, which is the largest seller of high-tech defence equipment globally, has a strong end-user monitoring agreement, and as a matter of practice takes all allegations of misuse of defence articles very seriously.

Source: thehindu.com

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