Pak to Get Eight F-16 Fighters for $88mn with US Finance

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After notifying Congress of its intention to sell eight F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan, the Obama administration quickly moved for Congressional approval for financing the deal under the country’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) scheme. U.S. administration proposes to pay the bulk of the $699 million cost of the deal while Pakistan is required to pay $200 million.

The F-16 aircraft is an all-weather, non-daylight environments, provide a self-defence/area suppression capability

Meanwhile, official of the U.S. State Department reiterated its commitment to sell F-16s to Pakistan. “We support the proposed sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan to assist Pakistan’s counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. Pakistan’s current F-16s have proven critical to the success of these operations to date… These operations reduce the ability of militants to use Pakistani territory as a safe haven for terrorism and a base of support for the insurgency in Afghanistan. These operations are in the national interests of Pakistan, the United States, NATO, and in the interest of the region more broadly,” the official said.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned US Ambassador Richard Verma to convey India’s “displeasure”.

“We are disappointed at the decision of the Obama Administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircrafts to Pakistan. We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism.

Describing the U.S.’ sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan as “part of a legacy announcement”, Washington’s Ambassador to New Delhi Richard Verma said his country expects Islamabad to do “more” on eliminating terror safe havens on its soil.

“The reality is that there are dangerous groups operating within Pakistan,” Mr. Verma said.