India Objects to Pakistan Getting New F-16 Fighters from US
WASHINGTON: The US government on Friday approved the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million built by Lockheed Martin Corp to Pakistan.
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said it had notified lawmakers about the possible deal.
India said it was disappointed with the US decision. “We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism,” Vikas Swarup, a spokesperson for India’s Foreign Ministry, said on Twitter.
We are disappointed at the decision of the Obama Administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircrafts to Pakistan pic.twitter.com/NGdrAL2m9i— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) February 13, 2016
The agency said the F-16s would allow Pakistan’s Air Force to operate in all-weather environments and at night, while improving its self-defense capability and bolstering its ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
Lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare since deals are well-vetted before any formal notification.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker notified the Obama administration that he would not approve using US funds to pay for the planes through the foreign military financing (FMF) program. That means Pakistan must fund the purchase itself, instead of relying on US funds to cover about 46 per cent of the cost.
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