WASHINGTON: The US reprimanded Pakistan Air Force chief in August for misusing F-16 fighter jets by undermining their shared security platforms and infrastructures, a media report here has said, months after the Indian Air Force shot down an F-16 jet of Pakistan Air Force during an aerial combat over Kashmir.

Andrea Thompson, the then-undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, wrote a letter to Pakistani Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan in August over the matter, US News reported on Wednesday.

While the letter written did not directly mention the incidents in the immediate aftermath of the February 26 Balakot airstrikes, US News quoted a source as saying that the communication served as a direct response to America's concerns about the F-16 use over Kashmir in February.

Not Enough

MERELY reprimanding Pakistan on ‘misuse’ of the F-16 aircraft is not enough. Because such reprimands have neither worked in the past nor are they likely to work now. A nation that has been receiving sumptuous doses of aid from the US, in cash and kind for its ‘cooperation’ in America’s fight against terrorism post 9/11 and the war against Taliban in Afghanistan, has been using the same aid to surreptitiously support the Taliban in Afghanistan and prop its terror machine against India. 

This has been no secret. But successive regimes in Washington just looked the other way and continued to provide funds and supply military material. Post Balakot surgical strike India had notified the US that Pakistan had used an F-16 aircraft against India and that the Indian Air Force had to bring it down. The incident had taken place in February but the US Administration has woken up to reprimand Pakistan now after ten months. But such reprimands have often proved inconsequential. The US needs to be more stringent with Pakistan.

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