India is not too pleased with the way the United States is channeling weapons to Pakistan.
The United States is continuously arming Pakistan with jets, sophisticated weapon systems, missiles, and sensors. Now, while these are supposed to aid in the fight against militants on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, many argue that these weapons are only meant to wage wars against other nations. The United States has sold weapons worth at least $10 bn to Pakistan during the last decade. While this is meant to be used against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, checks by independent agencies have confirmed that much less than half of the equipment has actually been directed against the terrorists.
India has constantly complained to the US about these sales and transfers of equipment, but to no avail as yet. Top Indian security officials were quoted as saying, “An F-16, for instance, can of course be used to let loose a missile on a cave or a militant stronghold but it’s mainly meant to wage war against a state, not stateless actors. The US knows very well that F-16s, P-3Cs or the other deadly toys it’s giving to Pakistan are not counter-terrorism weapons. But it chooses to look the other way, much like it did when A.Q. Khan was helping build Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and proliferating to other countries like North Korea. AMRAAMs are beyond-visual range missiles to take out enemy fighters in air combat. Does Al-Qaeda have fighter jets? They are obviously directed against India.”
The list is large. P-3C maritime patrol aircraft, Cobra helicopter gunships, Harpoon missiles, TOW-2As, AIM-9M Sidewinders, F-16 fighter planes, etc., are some of the main weapons and technology Pakistan is receiving from the US. Both India and Pakistan accuse each other of fueling the arms race between themselves.
Neither the Al-Qaeda, nor the Taliban are in possession of warships or fighter planes. Harpoons are potent all-weather, sea-skimming anti-ship missiles. They have even been modified to hit land targets. F-16s are nuclear-capable, something that is definitely not needed against a terrorist organization. The US will have to be very careful and keep a close watch on how its military equipment is being used by Pakistan. Though, the US says that it is keeping a constant watch on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal, and specially trained personnel are on constant stand-by to immediately intervene if ever a crisis erupts or there is a situation at hand.