Pakistan to decide how it wants to fulfil its defence needs: US

Published: May 4, 2016
A file photo of F-16 jet fighter.

A file photo of F-16 jet fighter.

The United States on Wednesday said it is up to Pakistan to decide how it wants to fulfill its defence needs.

“It is up to Pakistan to speak to how they will fulfil their defence needs. These are obviously sovereign decisions that Pakistan has to make,” Kirby said during his weekly press briefing.

Kirby’s statement comes a day after Pakistan expressed disappointment over Congress’ unwillingness to fund F-16 sale to Pakistan. Pakistan has indicated it may buy F-16 fighter jets from somewhere else if financing for the state-of-the-art planes is not arranged as Washington told Islamabad it would have to finance the purchase itself.

Pakistan will get F-16s from other countries if funding not arranged, Aziz tells US

When asked to comment on Pakistan’s description of US aid as ‘peanuts’, Kirby said, “I would again say that it is an important relationship and we’re going to continue to support that relationship and look for ways to improve our cooperation as best we can.”

“It is a relationship we have absolutely no intention of losing focus on or diminishing in any way,” US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said when asked if US unwillingness to subsidise the F-16 purchase will affect bilateral relations.

Sartaj Aziz, the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, admitted on Tuesday that arranging funds for eight F-16s Pakistan intend to buy from the US was an issue. “The US has decided to sell F-16s to Pakistan. The only issue is now financing,” Aziz told reporters at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).

Pakistan will consult with the suppliers of F-16s regarding the alternates of financing. “If arrangement is made, we will buy F-16s from the US, otherwise we will have to look for planes somewhere else,” he added.

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

Aziz’s comments came a day after the US State Department said it had asked Pakistan to fund the whole purchase of F-16 fighter jets on its own.  “Given Congressional objections, we have told the Pakistanis that they should put forward national funds for that purpose,” spokesperson John Kirby told a weekly press briefing.


Previously, Islamabad was supposed to pay only $270 million while the Obama administration was to pay $430 million in subsidy through the US foreign military financing budget for the fighter jets.

US lawmakers block subsidy for F-16 deal

However, during a recent Congressional hearing, US lawmakers made it clear that they would not allow the Obama administration to use American funds for the deal. The decision to stop the subsidy came last week after hearing of a subcommittee on Asia and Pacific of the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs.

At the hearing, US lawmakers accused Pakistan of not doing enough to fight militants and expressed concerns that the jets could be used against India while also raising objections to using American taxpayers’ money to fund the sale.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Rizwan
    May 4, 2016 - 1:18PM

    Its in Pakistan intrest to Buy Russian or Chines planes !Recommend

  • Pankaj
    May 4, 2016 - 2:09PM

    And how will you pay to Russia and China?Recommend

  • Tyggar
    May 4, 2016 - 2:10PM

    USA has not refused to sell the f16s to Pakistan, they want you to pay for the merchandise. Do you expect Russia or China to give you planes for free?Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    May 4, 2016 - 2:14PM

    Instead build more institutes of aeronautical engineering and create something from scratch for a change !Recommend

  • fact is fact
    May 4, 2016 - 2:18PM

    US has not learnt from mistake… its a big mistake to write off Pakistan considering their notoriety Recommend

  • SajB
    May 4, 2016 - 2:27PM

    You should dump this unreliable ‘friend’ and forge partnerships with other nations.
    Uncle Sam is not the only arm seller, move away from them shop around for your requirement.
    By doing this there will be less room for arm twisting by the US.Recommend

  • Vap
    May 4, 2016 - 2:48PM

    @Pankaj: Why do Indians keep bringing how we will pay? Either you have no idea about the game being played or you simply live in denialRecommend

  • Vectra
    May 4, 2016 - 3:06PM

    You meant to say Russian Su-35??.But in Russian case convincing them to sell Su-35 comes 1st and how to finance it comes latter because given Russia-India ties,India has diplomatic hand there as well.But yes China i agree.Recommend

  • turbo
    May 4, 2016 - 3:11PM

    well then don’t block our Saab Gripen deal like you did before just because the plane uses a GE engine produced under license by volvo aero!Recommend

  • Eagle
    May 4, 2016 - 4:03PM

    The US can run around, but as long they are in Afghanistan, as per Turnp to keep at least 10,000 us troops in the region, they will give us what we need.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    May 4, 2016 - 4:28PM

    Why are you getting frustrated on this question all the time? The game is simple, no free perks.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    May 4, 2016 - 4:30PM

    I don’t think you have liberty to dump any friend. Also, in today’s scenario there are no friends, only economical interests. You should get of the 1980s diplomacy strategies.Recommend

  • May 4, 2016 - 9:07PM

    Pakistan should actually purchase F-16’s from any other country or should look for new aircrafts like J-10’s….only threatening the US wont help Pakistan.Recommend

  • May 4, 2016 - 10:18PM

    What a pity? Our politicians and military dictators have spoiled Pakistan reputation and reliability. We troubled India with US help, we troubled Iran with Saudi help, We troubling Afghanistan and earning $$$ in their name. What we got from our friendship with US, China and other sundry countries right from 1947. Our defense is India centric. While India has become a power house, we continue to survive on the charity of big powers. All big powers soliciting friendship with India. Have we learned any lessons, not at all. No sane person expect that Kashmir issue will be settled with our borrowed and begged weapons. World has a bad idea about Pakistan. We cannot fool them any more.Recommend

  • bogus
    May 4, 2016 - 11:04PM

    “It is up to Pakistan to speak to how they will fulfil their defence needs. These are obviously sovereign decisions that Pakistan has to make,”
    That’s politically correct rhetoric for – “we don’t give a rip whether Pakistan buys planes from the USA or anybody else – never have”.Recommend

  • Ash
    May 5, 2016 - 2:26AM

    Why does Pakistan need American weapons anyways in a decade Pakistan will be a colony of God less China Recommend

  • Tariq
    May 5, 2016 - 5:56AM

    Ah we are losing games in the world order.
    Is there any leaders to stear out my country from crisis. …looking forward. …
    Regards Recommend

  • rarun
    May 5, 2016 - 6:50AM

    The strategic location is no longer an issue that can be used to hold US to ransom. Why do you think US is relaxing sanction on Iran. Chabahar!!Recommend

  • rarun
    May 5, 2016 - 6:59AM

    Let me propose something totally radical. For one billion dollars establish schools that educate the cream of Pakistanis in all spheres of Arts and sciences. Within 20 years graduates from these schools will have spread all over the world and will be influencing the thinkers and leaders of the world. They will be attracting investments, enterprise and technology to Pakistan. Tourism will boom in peace times as Pakistan is one of the accessible but unexplored parts of the world. India and indeed the world will be forced to listen to and collaborate with these Pakistanis due to their sheer ability. Or we can have 8 F-16 jets which are already outdated. Recommend

  • SaneVoice
    May 5, 2016 - 8:52AM

    Better if Pakistan buys from China or Russia at least they are reliable and their tech wont come with strings attached. USA has always been an untrustworthy supplier. This is an opportunity for Pakistan to move away from US influence. Recommend

  • Hayiam
    May 5, 2016 - 9:48AM

    That is indeed a very sane and intelligent thing to do, however for that the mindsets of not only the politicians but also of a large part of the general population have to be changed. It can only be hoped that whatever few intellectuals of the new generation take a stand and adopt a new perspective on how to carry Pakistan forward. If we are not the flag bearers for change, then god help us all.Recommend

  • Trollslayer
    May 5, 2016 - 12:00PM

    Your idea is radical indeed, and Pakistan needs radical changes and reforms to its educational system, which produces madrassa graduates by the millions, who are only qualified to teach in the very madrassa they graduated from. They have an uphill battle and I’m not sure if the will is there to tackle this issue.Recommend

  • Eagle
    May 6, 2016 - 1:48PM

    Why F16 when you have other means of delivering a war head. The best thing for Pakistan and India is to realize that they both could not brush aside each other. If one is convetionaly strong let us not forget that the other side is also a neculear power.let us come to this reality, and the sooner the better. we should spend our meager resources not to put bullet before the food.Recommend

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