Pakistan today said the proposed US sale of F-16 fighter jets to the country would strengthen its ability to carry out counter-terrorism operations and promote regional stability.
“We appreciate the public assessment of the US leadership in response to Congressional inquiries that Pakistan has used the F-16s effectively against the terrorists in the region,” Sartaj Aziz, Pakistani Foreign Affairs Advisor, said in his address to the opening session of the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, which he co-chaired with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
“The prospective sale of F-16s will strengthen Pakistan's capabilities to successfully continue these vital operations for our mutual benefit and stability in the region,” Aziz said as he praised Kerry’s recent defence of sale of F-16, which is being vehemently opposed in the US Congress.
“We are grateful to you Secretary Kerry for your recent positive testimony on the Hill,” Aziz said.
Last week, testifying before a Congressional committee, Kerry strongly defended the decision and argued these fighter jets are a critical part of the Pakistan’s fight against terrorists.