US tells Pakistan it will have to fund F-16s itself

Photo: File

The United States has told Pakistan it will have to finance the purchase of American F-16 fighter jets itself after members of the US Congress objected to using government funds to pay for them.

The US government said in February it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, as well as radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million.

However, Republican Senator Bob Corker said he would use his power as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to bar use of any US funds for the deal to send a message to Pakistan that it needed to do more in the war against militants.

Corker’s stance reflected deep unhappiness among both Democrats and Republicans in Congress about what they see as Islamabad’s policy of supporting elements of the Taliban and the Haqqani network blamed for attacks in Afghanistan.

Members of Congress also raised the possibility of the fighter jets being used against Pakistan’s neighbour India, with whom it has fought three wars. India objected to the deal.

Source: Business Recorder