Pakistan is still negotiating with the US to purchase F-16 fighter jets despite difficulties in getting the USD 700 deal partially financed by American government, a top official said today.
The purchase hit snags after US Congress withheld 60 per cent of the aid earmarked for subsidising the deal opposed by some American lawmakers and India.
Tariq Fatemi, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, responding to reports about the deadlock over the deal said that the “negotiations aren’t over yet”, reported BBC Radio.
He said Pakistan’s mission in Washington is currently in talks with members of Congress to raise awareness of Islamabad’s views on the matter.
“America understands how important a role these eight F-16s can play in the fight against terror, which is why the request was made in the first place.” According to the deal, Pakistan would have paid USD 270 million and the remaining USD 430 million was to come from the US.
“There is a strong opposition to provide subsidised arms to other countries in the US Congress, but the Obama administration’s offer of military aid to Pakistan still stands,” Fatemi told BBC Radio. Those opposing the deal argue that these jets can be used against India in case of a war.