The sale of sophisticated weapons by the US to India will “disturb” the strategic balance in South Asia and have security implications for Pakistan and the broader region, Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said on Thursday, as she hit out at Donald Trump administration’s decision to sell Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IADWS) to India.
Farooqui said that the growing India-US defence ties were “destabilising” the entire region, speaking at the weekly briefing. The remarks by the Pakistan official come less than two weeks before US President Donald Trump’s two-day state visit to India, beginning Feb 24.
In the lead-up to Trump’s visit, the US approved the sale of $1.87 billion defence system to India through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. The deal, still being finalised, is now before the US Congress for its consideration. There is a 30-day window for the US Congress to raise objections, if any at all, to the deal.
“The Integrated Air Defence Weapon System, also known as the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), provides integrated air missile defence and is currently deployed around Washington, DC,” a Department of State spokesperson said earlier this week.
According to the US, India wants to buy an IADWS comprising five AN/MPQ-64Fl Sentinel radar systems; 118 AMRAAM AIM-120C-7/C-8 missiles; three AMRAAM Guidance Sections; four AMRAAM Control Sections and 134 Stinger FIM-92L missiles.