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Thursday, 12 May 2016

Indian lobby trying to block US’ F-16s sale to Pakistan: Sartaj Aziz

The Indian lobby has been making “untiring efforts” to reverse the US decision and block the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has told the Senate. Winding up a debate on an adjournment motion moved by Mohsin Khan Leghari and others over the withdrawal of proposed subsidy on sale of F-16s fighter jets toPakistan by the US, Aziz said the government is pursuing the issue of sale of F-16s with the country at different levels and forums. “The Indian lobby has been making untiring efforts to reverse the US decision, and a strong attempt, through Senator Rand Paul’s resolution, to block the sale itself,” Aziz was quoted as saying by an official statement. “The move was however defeated proving the strong merit of our arguments, and the effectiveness of our outreach to the US at various levels, particularly to the US Congressional leaders,” he said. Congress opposed funding of these eight aircraft through foreign military funding of the United States, he pointed out. Aziz said Pakistan Defence Minister has written a letter to his American counterpart highlighting the importance of F-16s in the war against terror. He said Defence Consultative Group of the two countries would meet at the end of next month where this issue would also be substantially discussed. The Advisor said that Pakistan-US relationship was on positive trajectory during the last three years with significant progress in the realms of political, economic and defence ties.

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