US congress blocks funds for the purchase of 8 F-16s for Pakistan

F-16s-sell-to-PakistanThe United States will no longer subsidise the sale of 8 F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan amid concerns by the lawmakers that the country is not doing enough to fight militants.

A senior official in the State Department has confirmed the report and told BBC that Pakistan would have to bear the full cost of the F-16 fighter jets if it wished to proceed.

The official speaking on the condition of anonymity further added that the Obama administration is still very much in favour of selling the fighter jets to Pakistan.

According to the official, the Obama administration believes it is in the national interest of the United States to sell the fighter jets to Pakistan.

However, the US congress refused to to approve funding for the deal days after the US lawmakers had accused Pakistan of not doing enough to fight militants and objection by India for the sell of the jets.

The decision by the US congress means that Pakistan will have to pay more than $700m (£480m) – two-and-a-half times the original cost of the fighter jets.

Pakistan would pay close to $270m, with the US foreign military financing budget paying for the rest, according to the original arrangement. -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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