US Se­nate’s at­ti­tude on F-16 deal ‘not ap­pro­pri­ate’: Per­vaiz

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

ISLAMABAD—In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter Per­vaiz Rashid said the at­ti­tude of United States Se­nate Com­mit­tee re­gard­ing the sale of F-16 fighter jets is “not ap­pro­pri­ate” and it is cre­at­ing more trou­ble for Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

US should re­alise that Pak­istan is fight­ing their war against ter­ror­ism to en­sure peace in the world, he said on Fri­day dur­ing a pro­gramme aired on Ra­dio Pak­istan.

Sen­a­tor Ne­hal Hashmi, De­fence an­a­lyst Air Mar­shal (retd) Shahid Latif and other se­nior ex­perts also ex­pressed their views in the pro­gramme.

Rashid said the United States agreed to give sub­sidy on the pur­chase of F-16s, but it has backed out of the agree­ment be­cause of Con­gress’ pres­sure.

“Pak­istan is sac­ri­fic­ing lives of its cit­i­zens and suf­fer­ing eco­nomic losses for the global peace.” The F-16 fighter jets are play­ing a vi­tal role in con­tin­u­ing war against ter­ror­ism, he added.

Shahid Latif said Pak­istan should look for other op­tions other than the United States to strengthen its de­fence.

“We al­ready have de­vel­oped JF-17 Thun­der with the sup­port of China and these are re­li­able and af­ford­able jets which are be­com­ing back­bone of our air force.”

De­fense an­a­lyst Lt Gen (retd) Am­jad Shoaib said Pak­istan was in­ter­ested in pur­chase of F-16 fighter jets from the United States be­cause our pilots are fa­mil­iar with the air­craft. How­ever, our pilots are very com­pe­tent and ca­pa­ble to op­er­ate all kinds of fighter jets. “US Con­gress is un­der the strong in­flu­ence of In­dian lobby. There­fore, we should not de­pend on United States.”

Sen­a­tor Ne­hal Hashmi said the gov­ern­ment will try to ma­ture the F-16 deal till the last mo­ment. Washington is aware of this fact that Pak­istan is not its colony. We can pur­chase fighter jets from other coun­tries as well, the Sen­a­tor main­tained.

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