The US is not inclined to use tax-payers’ money to provide eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, a media report has said, a day after American lawmakers expressed concern that the aircraft could be used against India and not to combat terrorism.
As a result of which Pakistan would have to make arrangements for all USD700 million to purchase eight F-16 from the United States, the notification for which was made by the State Department to the Congress late last year.
Quoting an unnamed official in administration, a BBC report said that the because of the hold on it by Senators in the Senate, the US Government will not be using any of the tax payers money to sell F-18 to Pakistan. As per the Congressional notification, it has been scheduled as a foreign military financing.
According to the news report in BBC, the Obama Administration had to take the decision as Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has put a hold on it in this regard.
During the hearing, the Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson strongly defended the decision of the Obama administration saying that this is in the best interest of the United States and did not gave any indication on the difficulties in sale of F-16.
“The administration is supportive of the F-16 sale to Pakistan. This is been developed between our military coordinating groups over the course of time that is consistent with our overall program of support for the Pakistani military, which is based on counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism.
“The Pakistanis have developed a precision strike capability that they use in the F-16s they have right now to take out targets,” he said.
In a statement, the Embassy of Pakistan said America’s F-16 fighter jets have “provide precision strike capability” to its on-going campaign against militancy.
“F-16s provide precision strike capability to Pakistan’s on-going campaign against militancy and have proven to be an affective platform during Operation Zarb e Azb,” it said.
“The US Administration has stated it supports the sale of F-16s to Pakistan. This is in line with bilateral Counter-terrorism cooperation that both sides have pursued in mutual benefit,” the official statement said.
“Pakistan believes that threat from terrorist networks requires continued capacity building and both governments continue to work together towards this objective through a range of measures including sale of these air crafts,” it said. “The arms sales is a long process and we do not comment on its specific status at a point in time,” said the Pakistani statement.