United States stalls sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan

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The US Congress has blocked sale of eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, reported Dawn on 12 January. Concerned over the use of the jets by Pakistan, US lawmakers have issued clarification notices to delay their sale.

However, the sale of F-16s only has been put on hold and it can still go through if the Barack Obama administration pushes for it. The decision comes at a time when the US advised Pakistan to act rapidly against Pathankot attackers, according to Dawn.

Indian intelligence reports said, groups within Pakistan have planned and executed the strike on Pathankot airbase. A top state department official said Pakistan shouldn’t give excuses to shield itself as was the case with Mumbai terrorist attack.

“Pakistan has publicly said that will investigate. They have said they are not going to discriminate between terrorist groups. Pakistan should take effective action to back up those words,” he said.

After Pathankot and Afghanistan’s Majar-e-Sharif attacks, senior US government officials were urging Pakistan to take the right course of action would serve as confidence building measure and help in improving ties with India.

Referring to support for India among US lawmakers, especially after Pathankot attack, the officials said in the absence of concrete action against these terrorist groups, it would be a tough call for the Obama administration to push for any new military aid for Pakistan.