Lawmakers block Obama’s F-16 fighter jet sales to Pak

F 16 fighter plane
F 16 fighter plane

CHICAGO: After a visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the United States in October 2015, President Obama agreed to sell eight nuclear capable F-16s to the Pakistani Military as military aid and informally notified Congress of his intentions.

Concerned over the end use of the F-16 fighter jets by Pakistan, US lawmakers have used clarification and information notices to delay the sale of the combat aircraft. On January 12, 2016, the U.S. Congress not only stalled the planned sale of eight F-16fighter jets to Pakistan, but U.S. Senate also sent a “hold” notice to the Obama Administration

This was a sequel to a strong misgiving about the end use of the jets by Pakistani military by a group of Indian community activists who feared that the sale would hurt Indo-US relationship.

On December 16, 2015, the Foreign Affairs Committee in the US House of Representatives held a hearing on US-Pakistani relations. Lawmakers seemed troubled also by the overall signal the sale would send. “I’m concerned about the messages we’re sending when we continue to provide Pakistan security assistance despite Pakistan’s ongoing relationships with the Haqqani Network and LeT,” Eliot Engel, ranking member of the committee, had said. The Republican Members of Congress were urged to give a second thought to this idea of sale and apparently they were convinced.

Along with a successful Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, the Republican Hindu Coalition leadership also worked simultaneously with numerous Republican Members of the US Senate to push them to take action on the issue aswell.

United States Congress decision to place a hold on the F-16 sale to Pakistan is welcomed all around. RHC and its members look forward to continuing to support the US-Indian relationship on future policy initiatives.

India Post News Service

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