India reportedly registered a strong protest with the US over a USD 450 million F-16 sustainment program to Pakistan, saying it questioned the timing and substance. India delivered a sharp rebuke to US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu.

The package for Pakistan was announced while India hosted the US delegation for a US-India 2+2 Intersessional Meeting. Lu led the US delegation in the meeting.

Pakistan said it had raised the issue of additional F-16s with Lu following the US announcement. The country wants to maintain its ability to fight terror groups and would take sustained action against them, the spokesperson for Pakistan said.

For this military sale, Pakistan will participate in the F-16 Aircraft Structural Integrity Programme, and the electronic combat international security assistance programme. They will also receive aircraft and engine hardware and software modifications and support, as well as spare repair/return parts.