WASHINGTON: A US State Department spokesman said on Friday that F-16s fighter aircraft were the right platform to support Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts and US security assistance contributes to a stable region.
At a weekly briefing, Spokesman Mark Toner, while responding to a question that Pakistan was trying to make efforts to fight against the terror groups that threatens all Pakistanis.
“We believe the F-16s they’re the right platform to support Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, and have been a part of the successful pushback,” the spokesman said. “We do believe that F-16s are helpful”.
The spokesman said that they believe, there have been some ups and downs but that Pakistan was trending towards greater dialogue to resolve differences. “We want to see that continue.”
Mr. Toner said that in all types of these arms transfers, “we do take into account regional security and a range of other factors. We believe our security assistance does contribute to a more stable and secure Pakistan and region.”
Responding to a question, the spokesman said that he was aware that some members of Congress have expressed their concerns about how to finance this sale but referred the questioner to the White House.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Pakistan Embassy in the United States while responding to a media report said that the US Administration has stated it supports the sale of F-16s to Pakistan.
“This is in line with bilateral Counterterrorism cooperation that both sides have pursued in mutual benefit. F-16s provide precision strike capability to Pakistan’s on-going campaign against militancy and have proven to be an affective platform during Operation Zarb e Azb,” the spokesman said.
He said that Pakistan believes that threat from terrorist networks requires continued capacity building and both the Pakistan and the US governments continue to work together towards this objective through a range of measures including sale of these air crafts.
“The arms sales is a long process and we do not comment on its specific status at a point in time,” he added.