Pak to Use F-16 Jets Against India: American Lawmakers
Obama administration asked to review its decision
Washington: Top US lawmakers have expressed concerns over the Obama Administration’s decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, saying the aircraft could be used against India and not to combat terrorism. They have also urged the Obama administration to review its decision in this regard. “Many members of Congress, including me, seriously question the judgement 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.
Salmon was joined by several other lawmakers during the Congressional hearing on Afghanistan and Pakistan convened by the Subcommittee on Asia and Pacific of the House Foreign Affairs Committee wherein the Obama administration was represented by the Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson. Congressman Brad Sherman said: “We need to offer to Pakistan those weapon systems well-crafted to go after terrorists and not crafted for a war with India.” The US Senate has currently put a hold on the decision of the Obama administration to give eightF-16fighterjetstoPakistanatan estimated cost of $700 million.
Salmon asked Olson to clarify the underlying purpose and timing of the intended sale and how is it in the best interest of the United States.
“DespitegivingPakistanenormous amountsof counter-terrorassistance over the years, over $25 billion since 9/11, terrorist organisations continue to operate with impunity in Pakistan,” he alleged.