Husain Haqqani
Former Pakistani Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.Wikimedia Commons/IFaqeer

A former Pakistani diplomat has warned the US that the F-16 fighter aircraft and other military hardware it is selling to Pakistan may be used in a conflict with India instead of the fight against the Islamist extremists in the nation.

Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, said Pakistan has not been able to fight against extremist groups because it lacks the will to do so, not because it does not have enough arms and ammunition.

"Unless Pakistan changes its worldview and its compulsive competition with its much larger neighbour, American weapons will end up being used to fight or menace India and perceived domestic enemies instead of being deployed against jihadists," said Haqqani.

Now the director of South & Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, Haqqani was quoted as saying by PTI that the US-Pakistan fighter aircraft deal is an appeasement policy towards Pakistani military.

"The Barack Obama administration's consideration of a nuclear deal with Pakistan, just like its decision a few months ago to sell US-made attack helicopters, missiles and other equipment, worth almost $1 billion, to Pakistan will fuel conflict in South Asia without fulfilling the objective of helping the country fight Islamist extremists or limit its nuclear arsenal," said Haqqani.

He said the US has fed "Pakistan's delusion of being India's regional military equal" by aiding it with over $40 billion since 1950 through its policies. "Seeking security against a much larger neighbour is a rational objective, but seeking parity with it on a constant basis is not," he added.

He urged the US to convince Pakistan "its ambitions of rivalling India are akin to Belgium trying to rival France or Germany", and that "it is time the US adopted a policy towards Pakistan that supports the aspirations of its people for a better standard of living instead of allowing its military and civilian hardliners to pursue an unwinnable competition with India".

"The US government has been giving the signal that Pakistan is too important for it to ignore, which reinforces all of Pakistan's wrong policies. These are policies that both the US and a significant section of the Pakistani intelligentsia would like changed," added Haqqani.

According to reports, the US is preparing to sell eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

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