The United States recently gave green signal to the sale of F-16 Block-52 fighter planes to Pakistan. Eight such fighter planes will be sold to Pakistan for $699 million. United States’ Congress, the chief law making body in the country has already opposed the move by Obama administration. Congress was against the supply of fighter planes to Pakistan due to its constant support and shelter to the terrorist groups.
The decision has been approved by the US Department of State. The US Congress was informed about the sale by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). A US government official informed the press that they support the transfer of eight F-16s to Islamabad. Pakistan’s counterterrorism and counterinsurgency programs will be strengthened by this.
Militants in Pakistan have been hiding in many tribal territories and using these areas as training camps. The air operations will help to eliminate militants from their roots. The United States’ interest in the region will be protected due to this move as well. Many Taliban leaders have taken refuge in this region recently.
Pakistan has launched massive ant insurgency operations since the attack on Peshawar school and Bacha Khan University in recent past. The Congress’s main argument against the deal was about the way Pakistan will finance the sale of fighter jets.
New fighter jets will enable Pakistani forces to function in all seasons. It will also let them conduct operations in night light and remote regions. The United States has also said that Pakistan is ready to absorb these new planes in its air force. Monthly training programs, transition training will be provided to the pilots. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker recently informed John Kerry, Secretary of State about his objections to the deal. It would be interesting to see how Pakistan uses new fighter planes provided by the United States in the operations now.