The US deal valued at $700 million came unstuck after the US Congress refused to authorise ithe use of US government funds to pay for the aircraft under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme.
Pakistan’s inability to procure F-16s, from the U.S. is attributed to strained Washington-Islamabad ties because of Pakistan’s alleged insufficient action against the Taliban, Haqqani network and Lashkar-i-Taiba and concerns over the pace of its nuclear programme.
Also, Pakistan’s growing strategic partnership with China is one of the main reasons behind the current strains in its ties with the United States.
Stating it, Briefing a joint meeting of Senate’s standing committees on foreign affairs and defence on Monday, Chaudhry said the United States was probably upset over the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Top American lawmakers expressed their strong opposition to the proposed sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan which was opposed by India during the recent meet with Obama in US Modi had also raised the issue of terrorism and stated that “terreorism is being Incubated in India’s neighbourhood”
Earlier this year India had also opposed the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets worth approximately USD 700 million to Pakistan, saying it disagrees with Washington’s rationale that such arms transfers would help combat terrorism.
Now, Defece Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Alam Khattak however, admitted that the used Block-30 F-16s being offered by Jordan were not of the same quality and standard as the U.S. counterparts. But Pakistan may immediately need them to replace the Block-15 F-16s currently in PAF’s inventory, which are due to be retired in the next couple of years.
the difficulty over the F-16 deal is the latest sign of increasingly frayed ties between United States and Pakistan.