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

Published: April 29, 2016
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PHOTO: REUTERS

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.

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Reader Comments (59)

  • Aakashvaani
    Apr 29, 2016 - 4:57PM

    India rewrites the manual of international diplomacy. Unreal amazing work. Proud to be an Indian.Recommend

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    Apr 29, 2016 - 5:47PM

    Not a problem. The GHQ has already ordered Ishaq Dar to levy a 5% additional “ZeA” tax on the businesses in Pakistan making more than 50 million in annual profits.
    If that does not work out, the state bank would simply print the money.
    Anything to protect the sanctity of the sacred cows and to fill up the bank accounts of Lockheed Martin (the company that makes F-16s).Recommend

  • Wajahat
    Apr 29, 2016 - 5:59PM

    Deja Vu, anyone !!! Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Apr 29, 2016 - 5:59PM

    Top on my wish list is that India also remembers and reciprocates as earnestly and enthusiastically as the US, not just when it concerns Pakistan but more importantly when it concerns China. I would be very happy if Modi, during his forthcoming visit to US and address to the US Congress on June 8, makes a bold and passionate announcement that India shall participate in the joint military / naval patrols and exercises with US in the South China Sea. Entire Indian Parliament should support this stand behind Modi. It would be a decisive and historic turning point in the history of India and the entire World.Recommend

  • AF
    Apr 29, 2016 - 6:00PM

    If you talk about your tax money than you must think about other’s tax money as well. Now kindly don’t as for so called “DO MORE” and leave Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ashfaq11
    Apr 29, 2016 - 6:10PM

    This is bizarre. Why would US undermine the goals of Zarb e Azb?Recommend

  • goldconsumer
    Apr 29, 2016 - 6:28PM

    I hope the American public asks for the tax money spent on Iraq to find the weapons of mass destruction. But wait, the Americans support a guy called Donald Trumph..Recommend

  • curious2
    Apr 29, 2016 - 7:10PM

    Why is this a surprise? Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has consistently said he would not allow US taxpayers money to subsidize a sale to country which supports the Haqqani. The F-16’s are still approved for sale – just at std cost like the other 3,000 F-16’s used throughout the World. Recommend

  • AD
    Apr 29, 2016 - 7:27PM

    Pakistan should Buy F-16 by paying the price, why beg or cry for aid.Recommend

  • GOP
    Apr 29, 2016 - 7:44PM

    Trump is not even President yet!Recommend

  • Tasadiq
    Apr 29, 2016 - 8:01PM

    Good – Actually, this is not as bad as it sounds.

    This can be the kick up the backside of Pak’s non existent Strategic Defence Planning –
    Pak needs to develop its own missiles programme and throw away the begging bowl that Pak’s corrupt politicians use to line their own pockets from kickbacks from such Defence contracts.

    If Pak has the capability to develop a Nuclear Fusion, with hard work and sincere application it can develop all Military hardware for the Defence of Pak.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Apr 29, 2016 - 8:25PM

    F-16s were attractive because they were subsidised, now I suppose it is an open field, if we are to spend $700m on jets then let them all compete for the order.Recommend

  • Sami Khan
    Apr 29, 2016 - 8:32PM

    Earlier France also cancelled a defence deal with Pakistan on Indian pressure. Pakistan pushed against wall. Must built own defence industry. no other way outRecommend

  • Humza
    Apr 29, 2016 - 8:34PM

    @curious2: The difference is that the instability in the region is a consequence of the Soviet invasion and Pakistan’s sacrifices as a front line state. Paying Pakistan tens of billions would not begin to adequately compensate Pakistan. The Cold War came to an end due to Pakistan’s efforts and he nation is getting back on the feet. Pakistan doesn’t need aid; it deserves to be supported because t made the world a safer place and more Pakistanis suffered than anyone else because of the Soviet invasion. India is the one who is playing games using its lobby and using Afghanistan as a base to inflict more harm on Pakistan through its agents. Their cunning and clever manipulation of things is evident to better read people.Recommend

  • Nasir Shah
    Apr 29, 2016 - 8:35PM

    Relationships with Centcom is not everything. India approached through Congress. Pakistan must improve lobbying in US CongressRecommend

  • Aleem
    Apr 29, 2016 - 8:50PM

    We should buy the F-16s from our own funds. For national defence, sacrifices have to be made so we should look for revenue sources from within. This should also drive us to find other revenue streams through focusing on our economy.

    No need to ask for other taxpayers to fund us. Buy what you can afford, uplift the state of the economy and then flash hard cash to these suppliers and they will gladly sell.Recommend

  • quatro
    Apr 29, 2016 - 9:08PM

    Go figure. China is considered your “best buddy” but CPEC requires “no bid” plus a 28 percent return – likely meaning your paying significantly more than the rate other countries pay for similar items. The USA offers to sell you F-16’s at the same rate they have sold 3,000 others throughout the World – and they are the “bad guys” picking on Pakistan. Recommend

  • Irshad Khan
    Apr 29, 2016 - 9:35PM

    I think U.S is doing the right thing to halt the financial aid to Pakistan for the purchase of its eight F-16 fighter jets. if Pakistani prime minister can afford to wear a watch worth 4.7 million dollars and buys cloths from Harrods stores London then Pakistan does not need U.S tax payers money. President Obama and P/M Trudeau have wrist watches of less than thousand dollars and don’t shop at Harrods London.
    World has realised that most of the aid Pakistan is getting is being used to buy huge properties and businesses by Sharif family and billions of dollars going to heir family accounts.
    I wonder how many politicians from U.S, U.K, India or Canada live in 75 million pound Penthouse or buy a Zardari,s Chateau in France.Recommend

  • Udaya Bose
    Apr 29, 2016 - 10:25PM

    Blackmail doesn’t work all the time. Someone will call the bluff.Recommend

  • Kamal
    Apr 29, 2016 - 10:30PM

    OK. So for the USD 430m, I believe now is the time for Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif to finally prove their loyalty and come clean. Come on now boys, pay up and be welcomed back with a clean record, for now.Recommend

  • Salman
    Apr 29, 2016 - 10:38PM

    ET has published a pretty neutral article here. Pakistan should pay for the jets out of its own pocket rather than rely on half hearted freebies.
    The Indian lobbiest in Washington are successful in arguing a moot point that these jets could be used against India. Any sanr US senator or congressman should find that hard to believe given the fact the India boasts the 3rd largest military and airforce in the world and Pakistan has never relied on fighter jets to confront India which would signal an open invitation to war.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 29, 2016 - 10:48PM

    @AD:
    This should not pose any problem forthe Pakistan Government whose Prime Minister has the offshore account for such emergencies.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Sandip
    Apr 29, 2016 - 10:53PM

    @Aleem: If you use the funds to buy the toys for the boys, where will the money to buy the Mercs and the BMWs for the boys come from? There is probably only one so-called democracy in this world where boys get to ride Mercs while the poor public doesn’t even get a decent transport system. So much so for sacrifices for the country.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Apr 29, 2016 - 11:43PM

    While if we can get 12 sukhoi-35 or 20 numbers of J-11B then why to go for 8 F-16sRecommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 30, 2016 - 12:15AM

    @Aleem:
    And all your golden suggestions are to buy the F16’s to drop the bombs on those who do not even have the proper track shoes to walk in the mouninous terrain. Why not feed instead the army soldiers who can hardly stand on their feet.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • curious2
    Apr 30, 2016 - 12:36AM

    @Humza: @curious2: The difference is that the instability in the region is a consequence of the Soviet invasion and Pakistan’s sacrifices as a front line state.
    .
    That took place in 1979 and the operative words are “Soviet invasion” not “USA invasion”. Maybe you should ask Russia to sell you advanced fighter bombers at a discount?Recommend

  • Human
    Apr 30, 2016 - 12:37AM

    Blessing in disguise. Pakistan has always benefited the most after restrictions or conditions on imports. Also this would ease up the pressure on Pakistan to ‘DO MORE’. Great bargain compared to just 8 F16s. Recommend

  • Apr 30, 2016 - 12:42AM

    Business as usual, USA after using and getting benefit from Pakistan, finally ditch Pakistan. Recommend

  • Mr Obvious
    Apr 30, 2016 - 12:51AM

    the Soviet invasion and Pakistan’s sacrifices as a front line state. Paying Pakistan tens of billions would not begin to adequately compensate Pakistan.
    .
    I know this happened before you were born and your likely making comments based on Pakistani myth — but not one Pakistani soldier was killed or wounded during this conflict. Pakistan acted as a recruiter, trainer, transit point and got money/weapons from Saudi Arabia and the USA. Not sure how that equates to “sacrifice”. Recommend

  • Mohammed
    Apr 30, 2016 - 1:32AM

    @Tasadiq:

    If Pak has the capability to develop a
    Nuclear Fusion, with hard work and
    sincere application it can develop all
    Military hardware for the Defence of
    Pak.

    Sounds great. But Pakistan didn’t develop nuclear fusion or the BOMB – the American’s did. Pakistan/Khan stole the technology from Europe and the Chinese provided the fuel. Recommend

  • Hashk03
    Apr 30, 2016 - 1:57AM

    @Wajahat: Deja Vu, anyone !!!

    Yes!Recommend

  • Zahid
    Apr 30, 2016 - 2:01AM

    Pakistan should not beg we have brave soldiers to fight against terrorism
    Pakistan should dis continue all intelligence sharing with USA
    Senator crock keep your tax money now you will get good rewards from India
    Pakistan Army Zindabad General Raheel Sharif ZindabadRecommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Apr 30, 2016 - 2:42AM

    Looks like pointing out the reality that the Americans are tired of Pakistani duplicity in still supporting Good Taliban (Haqqani!) that kill Americans will not pass ET “moderators”!Recommend

  • OSD
    Apr 30, 2016 - 2:44AM

    This is hardly a significant problem. A few politicians associated with the Indian lobby are just making some noise and they are only getting traction because India is the new pawn against the USA’s game against China. F-16s or no F-16s, the truth is that Pakistan is getting stronger by the hour and it will continue to haunt India for all times to come!Recommend

  • Apr 30, 2016 - 2:56AM

    Pakistan asks for humiliation and gets it in the face. This is where patriotism of the civilian government comes into the play.
    Weak, docile and lacking the will to take the country forward, the nation continues to suffer economic and military humiliation where the US is always concerned. SalamsRecommend

  • Raj - USA
    Apr 30, 2016 - 4:18AM

    Just a day ago, IMF said that Pakistan is ready to go it alone when the current IMF program ends in September.
    Read this:
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1093530/imf-says-pakistan-ready-to-go-it-alone-when-programme-ends/

    This is a signal that IMF will not be supporting Pakistan from September onwards. It may look like IMF is praising Pakistan but is totally different. Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Apr 30, 2016 - 4:31AM

    @Salman:
    If you had bothered to read the article you would have discovered that the US Congress blocked the sale due to Pakistan’s continued support of the Haqqani group terrorist organization!Recommend

  • Afghan
    Apr 30, 2016 - 4:41AM

    Sounds funny, I buy something of you of and I want you to pay for me and deliver me the goods – stop begging Pakistan!Recommend

  • Ghani Abdullah
    Apr 30, 2016 - 4:48AM

    Looks like Ghani-Abdullah government’s campaign to isolate Pakistani has kicked off!Recommend

  • Apr 30, 2016 - 5:03AM

    Pakistan’s Forex is actually loan from IMF. No wonder IMF is so open to giving loans to a defaulter. China will never pick up the tab for Pakistan. This is going to be very funny.Recommend

  • Pushtun voice
    Apr 30, 2016 - 5:38AM

    if you are going to use your own money then buy the Russian Su35 — cheaper and betterRecommend

  • Ali
    Apr 30, 2016 - 5:39AM

    @Aakashvaani

    India has been doing it since 1947.
    Proves the insecure blood.

    What ever it may do. It will have to face Pakistan. Pakistan always manages an alternative. Dream whatever makes u proud. Good cure for insecurity.Recommend

  • Prada
    Apr 30, 2016 - 6:13AM

    @Ashfaq11: “This is bizarre. Why would US undermine the goals of Zarb e Azb?”
    They are asking you to pay for your own “operations”. That’s all. Recommend

  • Ul Logical
    Apr 30, 2016 - 7:43AM

    “Earlier France also cancelled a defence deal with Pakistan on Indian pressure. Pakistan pushed against wall. Must built own defence industry. no other way out”

    Totally agree with Sami Khan; regrettably, paki destroyed the defence industry factory totally; it was functioning from a compound near the military academy in abbottabad successfully for many years till 2011; now paki has to re-build another defence industry factory; chinese will help, but have to pay 28% interest, not a problem; hafeez saeed and dawood ibrahim will do great work..Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Apr 30, 2016 - 9:44AM

    Looks like Pakistan has no choice but to develop the triple seater variant of the JF-17, namely: JF-17C.Recommend

  • Ali S
    Apr 30, 2016 - 11:11AM

    @Ashfaq11:
    Because they know it’s not 100% sincere – Pakistan still sees ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Raksha
    Apr 30, 2016 - 1:28PM

    Wont forget JF 17 running away from Bahrain Airshow after Tejas confirmed its participation while losing millions of dollars in non refundable feesRecommend

  • Np
    Apr 30, 2016 - 11:50PM

    @Ashfaq11:
    Not giving a subsidy amounts to undermining Zarb-e-Azb goals? Did Sti Lanka get US subsidy against LTTE? Did India get US subsidy against Khalistani insurgents?Recommend

  • kamil
    May 1, 2016 - 1:08AM

    @AF:
    can u fight terror without their help?Recommend

  • Ajay Mittal
    May 1, 2016 - 2:45AM

    @Raj – USA:
    You are MISTAKEN ! India is not strong enough to take ‘pangas’ with China which is an emerging superpower. After one South China military exercise, what is the guarantee that China will not move into Kashmir or other parts of India. Is there any assurance that US will stick with India in any such eventuality? We can’t protect ourselves against a completely beaten out country like Pakistan because we have neglected our internal security for decades, how can we think of protecting ourselves against a super power China !!!

    Understand Any action against China will play into Pakistan hands because China is the next US in our backyard sitting on our head.

    If we show leadership and turn around China’s attitude like India has been doing in past decades, we stand a better chance that when China is fully inside Pakistan with CPEC implemented, the next logical step will be changing pakistan for good because automatically China will encounter confrontational situations with Islamic and jihadi forces. India and China may be in a cold war situation today but there are all the reasons for these 2 countries to be buddies in the long run because of alignment of many interests. Recommend

  • Ajay Mittal
    May 1, 2016 - 3:03AM

    @Ashfaq11:
    Acording to widespread views, it is not producing desired results.Recommend

  • Ajay Mittal
    May 1, 2016 - 3:36AM

    @BruteForce:
    IMF’s money is going back to the actual lenders through Pakistani costly purchases. Since Pakistan is doing nothing to increase education or industrialization to create jobs, it will never be in a position to pay back loans. US simply wants the loans to increase to such a back-breaking point that no other nation like Saudi or anybody else will want to fund that debt. Right now the total accumulated debt is not large enough. Pakistan can generate those funds by selling its country in even large asset sales than mere land for building infrastructure for somebody’s else use or giving rights for mining in Balochistan.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    May 1, 2016 - 9:45AM

    @Ajay Mittal:
    You say:
    “Understand Any action against China will play into Pakistan hands because China is the next US in our backyard sitting on our head.”

    This is where I differ with you. I think action against China will force China to abandon Pakistan.

    However, India cannot do anything to China on its own. India needs strong and unwavering support of US. India cannot get it if unless it also offers clear, unambiguous and unwavering support to US. If India leaves China unchecked, it will occupy Gwadar, make it China’s naval port and shall be threatening India on anything and everything. India will be so much weakened that its very survival will become very uncertain. Why would China turn around and become nice to India, if it can make India obey it by other means? China has the opportunity now to do so to India with Pakistan’s assistance. Also bear it in mind that when US is bending its back to reach out to India and if India does not reciprocate, it will lose US support also. Recommend

  • Javi
    May 1, 2016 - 1:45PM

    @Mohammed:
    Lol
    All the Indians here think they are experts when it comes to Pakistan. Recommend

  • Zoob123
    May 30, 2016 - 4:33AM

    Pakistanis are no longer concern with US aid or support. It is time for use to dissolve India friendly Gov and stop the sabotage of Pakistan economy. Also stop Indian Terrorism by fighting fire with fire. Recommend

  • Zoob123
    May 30, 2016 - 4:34AM

    It is time for Americans to leave Afghanistan. Once they are gone, we will pay full attention to Indians and their terrorists. Recommend

  • Zoob123
    May 30, 2016 - 4:36AM

    Don’t call it an aid. It is a bill that US Gov Pay to Pakistan for protecting NATO in Afghanistan. Recommend

  • Ajay Mittal
    May 30, 2016 - 10:33AM

    @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. Recommend

  • FAZ
    May 30, 2016 - 3:35PM

    @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.Recommend

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