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US asks Pakistan to pay for F-16s

Updated May 03, 2016

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WASHINGTON: The US State Department has said that Pakistan will have to pay from its own funds if it wants to buy F-16 fighter jets.

Pakistan had earlier reached an understanding with the US for buying eight F-16 planes. Under the deal, Pakistan was required to pay about $270m from its national funds. The US was supposed to provide the rest from its Foreign Military Financing (FMF) fund.

But at a congressional hearing on Wednesday, US lawmakers made it clear that they would not allow the Obama administration to use US funds for the deal.

On Friday, a State Department official told Dawn that Congress had placed a hold on the deal, forbidding the administration from using US funds for enabling Pakistan to buy the planes.

And on Monday afternoon, the department confirmed that Pakistan will have to use its own funds if it wants the planes.

The latest announcement practically kills the deal and Pakistan may find it difficult to buy the planes at two and a half times more than the agreed price.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2016