WASHINGTON (Staff Report) – In the wake of Congress’s opposition to usage of foreign military funding (FMF) for sale of eight F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, the US State Department has said that they have informed Islamabad to put forward its national funds to implement the deal.
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The United States had notified sale of eight F-16 planes against $699 million. Out of the total amount around $400 million was to be adjusted from America’s military aid to Pakistan. However, the US Congress categorically revoked the option of using military aid to sell warplanes to Pakistan last week.
Talking to newsmen, State Department spokesman John Kirby opposed Congress’s conditions to the release of appropriated foreign assistance funds, saying that such conditions limit the President and the Secretary of State’s ability to conduct foreign policy in the best interest of the United States.
On the occasion, he made it clear that F-16 sale deal with Pakistan was still intact and that usage of military for this purpose was halted only.
On the other hand Pakistani Foreign Office said that proposed deal of purchase of eight F-16 aircraft from US was still under discussion between the two countries.
Pakistani embassy’s spokesperson in the United States, Nadeem Hotiana said that the US administration has already supported F-16s sale to Pakistan however purchase of arms and ammunition is a lengthy and time-taking procedure.
He said that India had lobbied against Pakistan regarding the sale while some members of the Congress had also criticised the deal. They had said that F-16s could be used against India, he added.
Earlier in March, the motion to supply F-16s to Pakistan garnered success in the US Senate with an overwhelming 71 to 24 margin.
The deal between the two sides was kept alive for the past five years however, Obama government announced in February to go through with the sale formally.
Given the national funds Pakistan has at present, it may be able to buy only four of the F-16 Block 52 models, and the associated radar and electronic warfare equipment.