Need F-16 jets for counter-terror ops: Pakistan tells US

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Lahore, March. 1 (ANI): Pakistan has conveyed to the United States that it needs the F-16 jets for counter-terrorist operations which would strengthen the country and promote regional stability.

According to the Dawn, during the strategic talks with the US, Pakistan said that a contentious sale of F-16 fighter jets would benefit the nation in its efforts against terrorism.

The US government has approved the sale of the aircraft, radar and electronic warfare equipment to Pakistan in a deal worth nearly $700 million.

Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said that he appreciated the US leadership’s public evaluation that Pakistan uses F-16s effectively against terrorists.

Secretary of State John Kerry last week told a House committee that Pakistan’s current fleet of F-16s has been critical in its counter-terrorism fight on its western border with Afghanistan.

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Aziz, however, urged the Obama administration to do more “to bring Congress fully in the picture about the positive steps taken by Pakistan to further our mutual interests and the very significant change in ground realities that has taken place in the past two-and-a-half years,”.

Welcoming Pakistan’s commitment to not differentiate among terrorist groups, Kerry said that groups like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba seek to undermine Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours.

Kerry also said they would also discuss Pakistan’s “obligations of being a responsible state with nuclear weapons”. (ANI)

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