Amid growing Indian caucus, US Congress stalls F-16 sale to Pak: Report
Islamabad: Amid growing anti-Pakistan sentiments on Capitol Hill, US Congress has stalled a planned sale of eight new F-16 fighter jets to Islamabad.
Now it has become a routine see strong attacks on Pakistan and its policies during congressional hearings, The Dawn reported.
However, the Obama administration is keen on selling these aircraft and it is pushing for undoing the hold.
There is growing lobby of lawmakers in Congress who not only oppose arms sales to Pakistan but often urge the US administration to sever its ties with the country. Usually, such lawmakers are also active in the Indian caucus on Capitol Hill, the report said.
Pakistan does have a caucus on the Hill but it is small and ineffective. The Indian caucus, however, has grown gradually in size and influence and is now the second most effective lobby after Israel's, the report added.
“I don't know how an F-16, with all of its hardware on there for combat can be used for humanitarian aid. If they were buying C-130s … I could see those being used for humanitarian aid. But F-16! It's not really humanitarian aid,” the Pakistani daily quoted Congressman Ted Poe as saying.
“I want to be very specific in what I am concerned about, and that is, the sale of American fighter jets to Pakistan or the giving of American fighter jets to Pakistan through military aid. That military aid is then used in the United States to buy those jets,” Poe said
“Those F-16s and the military equipment that we are providing Pakistan are being used against their own people, just like they did against the people over there in Bangladesh,” the daily quoted another Congressman Dan Rohrabacher.