Uinted States administration defends F-16s sale to Pakistan

Posted in : Politics

(added few years ago!)
The Obama administration has once again defended its decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, amid strong resistance from some lawmakers. Various powerful members of the US House Committee have backed the Senate members' move to put a hold on the sale of eight fighter jets to Pakistan on subsidised price, but Ambassador Richard Olson argued that the administration was supportive of the F-16 sale to Pakistan. "This has been developed between our military coordinating groups over the course of time that is consistent with our overall programme of support for the Pakistani military, which is based on counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism," he said adding, "Pakistanis have developed a precision strike capability that they use in the F-16s they have right now to take out targets." Answering a question about the status of the deal at a hearing, Olson explained that the said targets were the Pakistani Taliban who attack Americans. "We applaud the actions that the Pakistanis have been taking against their domestic terrorism threat, even as we call upon them to take more robust action against those groups that threaten their neighbours." Top US lawmakers have been wary of the decision to sell fighter jets to Pakistan on subsidised price. The House Foreign Affairs Committee and members of subcommittees sat down Wednesday to review continued foreign financial assistance to Pakistan.
 
US administration defends F-16s sale to Pakistan
 
They urged the administration to ensure that the fighter jets could only be used in combating terrorism and not against any other country. "We have got to be concerned what military assistance and whether the F-16s constitute the least expensive, most efficient way for the Pakistani air force to go after the terrorists and the least disruptive weapon system to the balance of power between India and Pakistan," Congressman Brad Sherman said during the hearing. Ambassador Richard Olson, Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan, attended the hearing and argued in favour of the sale. Congressman Matt Salmon added, "Indo-Pak tensions remain elevated and some question whether the F-16s could ultimately be used against India or other regional powers, rather than the terrorists as Pakistan has asserted." He also alleged that Pakistan has "used terror as a tool of statecraft and terrorist proxy groups." Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the subcommittee chairperson, expressing her concern said, "we need to leverage our military sales to Pakistan in order to get some more cooperation within the region." The F-16 sale intent was announced in February and after facing initial resistance from various quarters now awaits completion. The deal will let Pakistan purchase eight F-16 fighter jets amounting to $700 million.  
 
Blog post Written by Wajid Ali Syed and you can visit the original article at http://www.thenews.com.pk/
Tags : US, Administration, Defends, F-16, Sale, Pakistan, Politics, Obama, Develop, Terrorism, Action, Fighters, Jet, Ambassador, Richard Olson, Purchase, Cost, Support

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