Sale of F-16s to Pakistan is in America's national interest: US

Published: February 15, 2016
A US-made F-16 fighter jet. PHOTO: REUTERS

A US-made F-16 fighter jet. PHOTO: REUTERS

The United States Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the Congress on Monday that the sale of eight F-16 Block 52 aircraft, its related equipment, training and logistics support to Pakistan is in America’s national interest.

“It is in America’s national interest to sell eight F-16 fighter jets and related equipment to Pakistan,” the DSCA notified US Congress, according to Radio Pakistan.

The DSCA  rejected India’s claim that the proposed sale will alter military balance in South Asia. “The DSCA delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on February 11, 2016. This proposed sale contributes to US foreign policy objectives and national security goals by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia,” a press release issued by the agency said.

Disappointed over India’s reaction to US sale of F-16 jets to Pakistan: FO

“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the DCSA said, rejecting Indian concerns that the sale will alter military balance in South Asia. The certification is needed to satisfy the US Congress where pro-India lobby is opposing the sale.

The agency suggested that the provision of these aircraft will have no adverse impact on US defence readiness; however, it will help improve Islamabad’s capability to meet current and future security threats. “These additional F-16 aircraft will facilitate operations in all-weather, non-daylight environments, provide a self-defence/area suppression capability, and enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations,” it said.

It also indicated that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will not have any difficulty to absorb the F-16 aircraft into its fleet. “This sale will increase the number of aircraft available to the PAF to sustain operations, meet monthly training requirements, and support transition training for pilots new to the Block-52.”

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The development comes after Indian expressed displeasure over the possible sale during a meeting between its Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and US Ambassador in New Delhi, Richard Verma.

On Saturday, the spokesperson for India’s external affairs ministry also took to Twitter to express disappointment over the move. “We are disappointed at the decision of the Obama Administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan,” Vikas Swarup posted on the microblogging website.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • abreez
    Feb 15, 2016 - 2:25PM

    Pakistan’s healthy relations with China and Russia will make F-35 sale to Pakistan, America’s national interest in near future.Recommend

  • Xnain
    Feb 15, 2016 - 4:43PM

    Russia selling F-35s to Pakistan.
    Logical level:Indian. Recommend

  • Feb 15, 2016 - 5:14PM

    But for sure not in Pakistan’s interests. Pakistan can buy SU-35 or J-20.Recommend

  • Feb 15, 2016 - 8:15PM

    Pakistan is the front line partner of USA in a war on terror, so this is a good news that USA is agree to give the F-16 to Pakistan to increase its capacity in a war on terror. India is the huge purchase of Weapon in the World, but India is always against Pakistan in every single case which is not acceptable at all.Recommend

  • Feb 15, 2016 - 10:29PM

    US wants to pull out its forces from Afghanistan….US is aware of the security situation in Afghanistan….US is aware of the terrorism being sponsored from Afghanistan into Pakistan….so yes this is in the interest of US to provide these aircrafts to Pakistan….BTW these aircrafts are very good for PAF…better than a bigger plane at the moment.Recommend

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