Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with President Barrack Obama in Washington in June, the United States has asked Pakistan to shell out the full price – US$700 million – if wants to purchase eight F-16 fighter aircraft. This is two-and-a-half times the original cost.The notification for the sale was made by the State Department to the Congress late last year.As per the Congressional notification, it has been scheduled as a foreign military financing, media reports said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Obama Administration’s decision comes after after Congress said no to approve funding for the deal. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, put his foot down.New Delhi continues to be disappointed. It feels such lethal armoury had been used against India in the past, a sentiment also shared by many US lawmakers. The government, however, refused to comment officially, saying, they were just media reports.Sources here said, there was no relevance to Pakistan’s arguments that these fighter aircraft were needed to take on terrorists or Taliban elements along its border with Afghanistan. Angered over the US decision to sell more F-16 planes to Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs last February had summoned US ambassador Richard Verma to express its “displeasure”.Government sources said its objection was only to transfer of lethal F-16s, reminding that they had never opposed any humanitarian aid or to the transfer of transport planes C-130 to Pakistan. In 2006, the US had restarted the supplies to Islamabad with a contract for 18 planes, which were completed in 2012 with an option of 18 more. The current deal, which envisages eight more is under the same contract. Between 2002 and 2015, the US has sold around $5.4 billion worth of military equipment to Pakistan, according to the Congressional Research Service. The US Congress has also approved about $30 billion in aid to Pakistan over past 13 years. The aid, half of which is routed through the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), is meant to combat terrorism. But India has consistently maintained that it is used to bolster Pakistan’s defence capabilities against India instead.American lawmakers have also expressed concern that the F-16 aircraft could be used against India and not to combat terrorism.During the Senate hearing, the Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson strongly defended the decision of the Obama administration saying that this is in the best interests of the United States and did not gave any indication on the difficulties in sale of F-16.”The administration is supportive of the F-16 sale to Pakistan. This is been developed between our military coordinating groups over the course of time that is consistent with our overall program of support for the Pakistani military, which is based on counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism.In a statement, the Embassy of Pakistan in the United States said F-16 fighter jets would “provide precision strike capability” to its on-going campaign against militancy.

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Pakistan won’t get subsidy for F-16s, will have to pay 2.5 times of the discounted cost