Delay in F-16s sale: Defence secretary expresses concern with US commander

Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Alam Khattak meets US Central Command General Joseph L Votel in Rawalpindi

Our Correspondent May 09, 2016
Secretary Defence Lt-General (retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak (L) in a meeting with General Joseph L Votel, Commander US Central Command (R), in Ministry of Defence, Rawalpindi on May 9, 2016. PHOTO: PID

RAWALPINDI: The defence secretary has expressed concern with a US commander on the issue of delay in sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

Last month, the US Congress had blocked a move by Washington to subsidise Pakistan’s purchase of eight Lockheed Martin Corporation’s F-16s.

In response, Pakistan indicated it may buy the aircraft from somewhere else if financing for the state-of-the-art planes was not arranged by the US.

Refusal of subsidy: Aziz says Pakistan may buy F-16s from elsewhere

In his meeting with Commander US Central Command General Joseph L Votel in Rawalpindi on Monday, Lt-Gen (retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak said the aircraft was essential for Pakistan's fight against terrorism.

He said the operation Zarb-e-Azb and National Action Plan were the testaments of Pakistan’s commitment in its fight against terrorism and extremism, according to a statement released by the defence ministry.

Refusal of subsidy: Aziz says Pakistan may buy F-16s from elsewhere

Both the countries shared resolve to enhance existing defence cooperation among the two nations.

Khattak said “Pakistan highly values its relationship with the US, which is spread over six decades and has seen progress in various areas including trade, economy, investment, energy, defence and people to people contact.”

The defence secretary also discussed about the status of roadmap regarding future reimbursement mechanism in lieu of Coalition Support Fund beyond 2016.

US lawmakers block subsidy for F-16 deal

General Joseph acknowledged the role played by the Pakistan's armed forces in their fight against terrorism.

“Continued support from US in training, equipment and necessary funding will act as tools essential to fight against terrorist outfits,” he added.

Votel is a four-star General in the United States Army and has recently assumed the command of United States Central Command. He has also served as commander of United States Special Operations Command.

Army chief, US commander discuss Afghan security situation

Meanwhile, Army chief General Raheel discussed Afghanistan’s security with General Votel, who called on the former at the GHQ.

According to the ISPR, the two leaders also discussed matters of mutual and professional interests, with the visiting dignitary lauding the role of Pakistan Army for bringing peace and stability in the region.


Arman | 5 years ago | Reply Pakistan needs F-16 fighter planes to fight against terrorists and militants. Earlier, the US promised to Pakistan that it will provide every kind of military assistance to Pakistan in fight against war on terror. But recent lawmaker's blockade is beyond our understanding.
harkol | 5 years ago | Reply What next? Talks with the corporal in US military, and 'express' concern?
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