Pakistan, US still discussing F-16 jets sale, says FO

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday said that the proposed sale of F-16 fighter jets by the United States is still under discussion between the two countries.

According to a Business Recorder report on Saturday, a senior state department official is said to have told the BBC that the US will no longer subsidise the sale of eight jets to Pakistan.

The decision means that Pakistan will have to pay more than $700m (£480m) – two-and-a-half times the original cost – if it wishes to buy the aircraft. It comes after Congress refused to approve funding for the deal.

Some US lawmakers had accused Pakistan of not doing enough to fight militants. India had also objected to the sale.

While commenting on the media reports regarding the issue, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakariya said that coordinated efforts are needed at international level to tackle the menace of terrorism and the responsibility to eliminate terrorism cannot be placed on one country.

The spokesman said Pakistan and the United States are cooperating in the fight against terrorism.

He pointed out that provision of the F-16s to Pakistan will enhance its anti-terrorism capability.

People close to the deal say it is highly unlikely that Pakistan will be willing to pay the full cost of the fighter jets, so it seems to be off for all practical purposes. – Radio Pakistan and Business Recorder