US Senate defeats bill blocking Pak F16 sale

11 Mar 2016 | By Gaurav

The US Senate rejected a resolution to block the $700 million sale of 8 F16 fighter jets to Pakistan despite objection by some top lawmakers who called Islamabad "unreliable".

The joint resolution, which was introduced by Senator Rand Paul was defeated by 71 to 24 votes.

The voting was held a day after Pentagon commanders appealed against restricting or conditioning US aid to Pakistan.

In context: The US-Pak F16 sale

Introduction Pakistan's F16s

The Pakistan Air Force currently operates 70 F16s.

Forty F-16 fighters were first introduced to PAF by the United States in the 1980s.

However, due to the 1985 Pressler Amendment, the United States canceled the sale of an additional 28 F-16s in 1990 and imposed sanctions on Pakistan.

After 9/11, the US resumed military trade with Pakistan, agreeing to sell 18 F16s in 2006.

23 Oct 2015US to sell 8 F16s to Pak

Authorities have stated that the United States has agreed to sell 8 F16 fighter jets to Pakistan in order to bolster bilateral ties between the two countries.

While officially the F16s are to be used against the Taliban and for counter-insurgency purposes, several US lawmakers suspected that Pakistan may use them against India.

Congress would have 30 days to veto the deal if necessary.

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US halts F16 sale over Pathankot attack

12 Jan 2016US halts F16 sale over Pathankot attack

The US Congress has put on hold the proposed sale of 8 F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

US lawmakers have used clarification and information notices to delay the sale of the aircraft, concerned over Pakistan's alleged role in the Pathankot air base attack in India.

However, the deal was not canceled and could still go through, if the Obama administration pushes for it.

26 Feb 2016Resolutions passed to block F16 sale

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced a "joint resolution" in the House of Representatives to express Congress's disapproval over the F16 deal with Pakistan.

Senator Rand Paul introduced a similar resolution in the Senate, demanding that the US halt military sales to Pakistan.

They said the Osama bin Laden case and the fact that Pakistan arrested the CIA informant who disclosed Osama's whereabouts showed Pakistan's unreliability.

5 Mar 2016US issues official notification of F16 sale

Amidst stiff opposition from India and top American lawmakers, the US government formally published federal notification for the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

The notification stated that the sale would help "improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia."

The move has face severe criticism from several US lawmakers and invited harsh comments from the Indian government.

11 Mar 2016US Senate defeats bill blocking Pak F16 sale

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13 Mar 2016Baloch envoy expresses concern over F16 sale

The Baloch representative to the UNHRC and the EU, Mehran Marri, condemned the move by the United States Government to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

He stated that "We condemn the sale of the F16 with mountainous capabilities because they're purely used against Baloch population."

He went on to remind the officials of Pakistan's betrayal over Osama Bin Laden.

17 Mar 2016US to monitor use of Pak military aid

The US has conveyed to India it has put in place an "effective oversight" and end-use monitoring system to monitor security assistance given to Pakistan.

India as well as representatives of Pakistan's contested Balochistan province had conveyed their apprehensions of increased US military aid to Pakistan.

US officials stated that the monitoring would ensure that all military aid is used solely for counter-terrorism operation.

1 May 2016F16 deal with US still on: Pak

The Pakistan Prime Minister's special assistant on foreign affairs stated that the F-16 fighter jet purchase deal with the US was still intact, despite rising domestic opposition in the US.

He said, "It is the responsibility of the Obama Administration to persuade Congress over the sale of F-16s to Pakistan."

His statements come amid reports that the US Congress halted the sale to Pakistan.

3 May 2016No subsidies for F16s: US to Pak

The US asked Pakistan to "put forward" its "national funds" to buy eight F-16 fighter jets after top American Senators put a hold on subsidizing the sale.

The US also gave Pakistan until May end to accept the new conditions, based on "offer validity and (Lockheed's) production process" point of view.

However, officials did not give details on when this was communicated to Pakistan.

13 May 2016Sartaj Aziz: US-Pak relations under stress

Pakistan's Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the US-Pakistan relationship has been stressed due to the US's decision to not subsidize the F16 sale.

Speaking to the Pakistani Senate, Aziz also mentioned the 'India factor' as the main reason behind US decision to withdraw its subsidy.

He added that Pakistan is making efforts to negate India's influence over the decision.

28 May 2016Pak fails to secure F16 deal

According to reports in Pakistani media, the Pakistani government has failed to secure the F16 deal with the US.

The Pakistani government was allegedly required to provide the Letter of Acceptance for purchase of the jets by 24 May, however no such letter was issued and the offer expired.

However, Pakistan's Ambassador to U.S. Jalil Abbas Jilani said the deal was not off yet.