US Lawmakers: Pakistan Possibly Use F-16 Fighter Jets Against India Not On Terrorism
Apr 28, 2016 11:59 PM EDT
Leading US lawmakers expressed worries regarding Obama government's decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan as these could be used against India and not to fight terrorism.
For the meantime, the US Senate has put a hold on Obama administration's decision to provide eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan at an estimated cost of $700 million. They also persuade them to reconsider their decision in this regard, as reported by MSN.
"Many members of Congress, including me, seriously question the judgment and timing of such a sale. Additionally, 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 as asserted," Congressman Matt Salmon said during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.
According to International Business Times report, Salmon asked Obama administration's decision to sell more arms to Pakistan, which didn't succeed in fighting terrorism originating in the country despite getting "huge amounts" of support.
"Despite giving Pakistan enormous amounts of counter-terror assistance over the years, over USD25 billion since 9/11, terrorist organizations continue to operate with impunity in Pakistan. Pakistan has used terror as a tool of statecraft and terrorist proxy groups, for the Pakistani military have carried out fatal attacks inside India," he said.
Disagreement is always raised against the decision of selling the fighter jets to Pakistan not just by India and US lawmakers but also by a former Pakistani diplomat. Hussain Haqqani, former Pakistani Ambassador to the US warned against the move whose raised concern is the same to that of the US lawmakers.
India Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar had raised the issue of US F-16 fighter jets sale to Pakistan after talks with visiting US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. India previously protested the sale of these combat aircraft to Pakistan stating that they do not agree with reason that weapons transfers help fight terrorism, based on the NDTV report.
It was in February that United States revealed its plans of supplying Pakistan with eight F-16 fighter jets amounting to $700 million.