The United States (US) has “absolutely no intention” of losing focus of its important relationship with Pakistan, the Obama administration said, noting that it is Islamabad’s decision to take a call on its security needs.
“These are sovereign decisions that nations make with respect to their defence needs and it’s up to Pakistan to speak to how they’ll fulfil their defence needs,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Tuesday. He was responding to questions on a Pakistani leader’s statement that it would get the fighter jets from other countries such as China, if US doesn’t provide them.
“As for the relationship, as I’ve said many, many times, it’s an important one. It’s critical, it’s vital particularly in that part of the world, and it’s a relationship we have absolutely no intention of losing focus on or diminishing in any way,” Kirby said.
“But these are obviously sovereign decisions that Pakistan has to make,” the State Department said.
A day earlier, the US told Pakistan to make full payments for the F-16 fighter jets costing an estimated $700 million after Congress senators put a hold on the subsidy of $435 million promised earlier.
Kirby refrained from responding to questions on remarks by a top Pakistani minister that the US aid to his country has been “peanuts”.
“I would just simply say that, again, it’s an important relationship. We’re going to continue to support that relationship. We fully stand behind the kinds of support that we have provided Pakistan over the last many years with respect specifically to their counter-terrorism capabilities and counter-terrorism needs, and we’re going to continue to look for ways to improve that cooperation as best we can,” Kirby said.