Pakistan ambassador to U.S. pushes for F-16 sale

By Ryan Maass  |  Jan. 18, 2017 at 2:25 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Pakistan's ambassador to the United States hopes the incoming Republican administration will green light stalled plans to sell F-16s to the country.

Speaking to the media, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani suggested the purchase would strengthen ties between the two countries and enable more effective cooperation against Islamist militants in the Middle East.

"Cooperation between Pakistan and the US in the fight against terrorism will be further strengthened by revisiting the sale of F-16s and CSF issues," he said.

Jilani went on to add he is looking forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune reported.

"There is no Da'esh presence in Pakistan, but we are concerned about the group's growing influence in Afghanistan," Jilani added using an alternate name for the Islamic State, Sunni militants based in Iraq and Syria.

Pakistan has been eyeing an F-16 purchase from the United States since late December 2015, but lawmakers critical of the country's commitment to counter-terrorism efforts have stalled pending agreements.

Congress blocked a move by President Barack Obama to subsidize Pakistan's purchase of eight F-16 Fighting Falcons in April 2016. According to Radio Free Europe, Pakistan considered canceling the buy entirely to procure the planes from Jordan instead.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories