'US halts financial aid to Pakistan aimed at procurement of F-16s'

Obama administration took the decision after an order by US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, says BBC Urdu...


News Desk April 29, 2016
PHOTO: REUTERS

The United States has halted financial aid to Pakistan for procurement of its eight F-16 fighter jets, a report said on Friday.

According to BBC Urdu, the Obama administration took the decision after orders by Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

As a result, the government would have to make arrangements for $700 million to purchase eight F-16 from the United States, the notification for which was made by the State Department to the US Congress in late 2015.

US administration supports F-16s for Pakistan, says official

“Because of the hold on funding by senators, the US government will not be using any of the taxpayers money to sell F-16s to Pakistan,” the report quoted an unnamed official in the Obama administration as saying.

It was being speculated that the US government would provide around $430 million to Pakistan while about $270 million would be arranged by the government.

During the hearing, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson defended the decision, saying it was is the best interest of the United States.

“The administration is supportive of the F-16 sale to Pakistan,” he said. “The Pakistanis have developed a precision strike capability that they use in the F-16s and a have a right to take out targets.”

US envoy summoned: India outraged at sale of F-16 jets to Pakistan

Meanwhile, Spokesperson Pakistan embassy in the US, Nadeem Hotiana, in a statement said “America’s F-16 fighter jets have provided precision strike capability to our continuing campaign against militancy, and have proven to be an effective platform during Operation Zarb-e-Azb.”

“The US Administration 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 communiqué said.

“Pakistan believes 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 aircraft. The arms’ sale is a long process and we do not comment on its specific status at a point in time,” it added.

F-16 jets supplied to Pakistan for fighting terrorism, US assures India

On Thursday, US lawmakers had expressed concerns over their government’s decision to sell eight F-16 jets to Pakistan, claiming the aircraft could be used against India instead of terrorists, urging the White House to review its decision.

India had earlier expressed displeasure over the Pentagon’s decision to sell the fighter jets to Pakistan.

“We are disappointed at the decision of the Obama Administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan,” spokesperson for India’s external affairs ministry Vikas Swarup had said.

COMMENTS (59)

FAZ | 4 years ago | Reply @Ajay Mittal: You people paint a picture as if Pakistan is being over run by Islamic extremism and its just some God's miracle that they don't get their hands on nukes or what! Please understand the fact that there was no militancy before 70's. It was in mutual interest of US, Pakistan and some Arab monarchies to develop a mentality that suited them to fight the soviets. That was a mistake. And that mistake was repeated and repeated again over a decade when Pakistan tried to use it against India. No matter how strong these militant may seem, one thing is for sure that they are outnumbered by a big margin against the liberals and against the common Pakistani. No matter how flawed the Pakistan democratic system and elections be, you never find these militant based organization winning a slightest majority to influence decision making. With the finance systems being scrutinized day in and day out militancy will be soon over in Pakistan if not later.
Ajay Mittal | 4 years ago | Reply @Javi: Indians understand Pakistan really well. Pakistan is an open book of mistakes upon mistakes, short sighted thinking, opportunistic people, who place religion over humanity and nation. There is a reason why Pakistan is in doldrums. It is ripe for economic ruins and consequent Islamic explosion which will be the last straw that broke the camel's back because it will bring US and China intervention. Islamic threat endangers China more than India because India has a large sprinkling of Muslims unlike China. India hasn't limited the freedoms of Muslims but china has in Xinjiang. China will be in deep trouble if Islamic fundamentalists start pouring out of Madrassahs. A destabilized Pakistan (overun by fundamentalists) with nuclear weapons in danger of falling in their hands is a threat to both US and China, not to mention Russia and Europe.
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