- USA to sell eight more F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, a move opposed by India
- Pakistan had not stopped supporting terror groups targeting India despite committing to that in exchange for U.S. military aid. India has consistently opposed the transfer of F-16s to Pakistan, as opposed to the transport planes C-130, because of their lethal capabilities, ever since the U.S. began supplying them to the neighbouring country in the 1980s.
- The F-16 fighting Falcon is the most modern fourth generation aircraft in service, and over 4,400 aircraft have been produced so far and are in service with 25 countries.
- The Indian Air Force has a large number of fourth generation-plus Sukhoi-30 aircraft which can more than handle the F-16, an Air Force officer said.
- The F-16 was in the race for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract but lost to the French Rafale. The U.S. has still been pitching the aircraft for the Indian Air Force under the Make in India initiative.
- The US also gave 14 used F-16 aircraft free of cost in 2012. In 2013, Pakistan announced its decision to buy 13 second-hand F-16 from Jordan, and the delivery started last year. Compared with the older version, the latest F-16 Block C/D is an entirely new aircraft with significant new capabilities.
Compare and contrast US’ and China’s foreign policy Vis a Vis Pakistan. Critically examine their effect on India’s interests in the region. (200 Words)
Similarities OF US and China in Pakistan:
- Both came with Generous investment and nearly equal
- Both aimed at security and peace, development In the region and Afghanistan
- Both aimed to contain the Fundamentalism
- Both came at the time when their respective nation were at threat/restive due to Such forces
- Both showed and wanted an Super power status
- US aid mainly Military While Chinese aid is Development and need specific
- US aid and stance vacillated, and was more when it was required to fight Russia and was less when No such threat present . While Chinese aid is mainly to knit the region with stability
- US aid was not having any economic angle, however China is linking it with Silk Road one belt one road initiative
- Aid came to assert Uni-polarism, while Chinese aid is for Multi-polarism
- US aid mainly rested with Army and state actor to fight the terrorism. Chinese aid is to Prevent such forces itself through jobs employment
In brief Chinese aid appear to be more inclusive, supportive, forward looking well encapsulated and may favour Indian interest. India with large heartedness must support this economic tie-up cum entente cum friendship between its neighbours at both ends. Such can help India in:
- Prevent infiltration and border issue with Pakistan
- such can well-knit India too with further engagement with Pakistan
- it may open for trade routes and greater economic partnership with Central Asia, TAPI and other long overdue projects.
In brief it must be looked as win-win situation With Chinese leadership and not Zero sum game
US’s & China’s foreign policy vis-a-vis Pakistan
- Aid oriented: both are/were generous donors of aid.
- Aim: to promote development; which could curb rising extremism in Pakistan.
- Peace & regional stability: was an objective of both; especially concerning Afghanistan where Pakistan exercises significant influence.
- Interest: arose in Pakistan when rising extremism threatened both these countries; US had attacks on WTO towers; China faces secessionism in Xinjiang province; links of which lie in Pakistan & Afghanistan.
- Corruption, incompetence & safety issues: in Pakistan will/might prevent both countries from achieving their goals in Pakistan.
- Nature of aid: US aid was primarily military while Chinese aid is developmental.
- Motives: in case of US is to assert itself as “global superpower”; while for China is to enhance its regional clout & undercut US dominance in the region; assert itself as major global player.
- Strategy: China wants to ensure a redundant energy supply lines via Pakistan; while US was concerned about Pakistan being safe haven for terrors groups in Afghanistan.
- Objectives: China wants to cut Indian regional clout while US had no such intention.
Effect on India’s interests:
- US aid: was diverted by Pakistan to fund proxy war in India;
- Chinese aid: undermines India’s territorial integrity via funding projects on PoK; this aid might also be misused to fuel proxy war in India.
Moreover With proxy war in India being fueled by Pakistani state actors; it will be hara-kiri to believe that terrorism will subside with development via Chinese aid. Indian interest is bound to suffer in the region with growing coziness between China & Pakistan.