Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has hinted that India could help the United States deal with the "problem" of a "semi-unstable" Pakistan. Trump noted that the most serious concern about Pakistan was that the country had nuclear weapons.
Trump's remarks came during a town hall campaign in Indianapolis on 26 April while responding to a question about how he would deal with countries like Pakistan that have "double-dealt" the United States when handed funds. While Trump noted that this was an issue, he said that scrapping aid to Pakistan would be "a disaster" and hoped countries like India would help find an alternative solution.
According to the Economic Times, Trump said: "We don't want to see total instability [in Pakistan]. We have a little bit of a good relationship. I think I'd try and keep it. If you look at India and some of the others, maybe they'll be helping us out, because we're going to look at it. We have many, many countries that we give a lot of money to and we get absolutely nothing in return and that's got to stop fast."
On the same day, US lawmakers urged the Obama administration not to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. Citing rising tension between India and Pakistan, Congressman Matt Salmon said during a Congressional hearing that the timing of the sale was not appropriate and warned that the F-16s could "ultimately be used against India" rather than terrorists.
Salmon asked Richard Olsen, Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, to clarify the purpose and timing of the military sale, as well as outline how the sale was in the best interest of the United States. His views were echoed by other members of Congress, who also raised concerns about how the weapons would be used by Pakistan.
According to the Press Trust of India, Congressman Brad Sherman said: "We've got to be concerned what military assistance and whether the F-16s constitute the least expensive, most efficient way for the Pakistani air force to go after the terrorists and the least disruptive weapon system to the balance of power between India and Pakistan. We need to offer Pakistan those weapon systems well-crafted to go after terrorists and not crafted for a war with India."