US Congress approves 10 F-16s sale to Pak, 4 to reach by June-end

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Washington, June 4 : Pakistan will receive four F-16s later this month from the United States, which had in 2005 promised to supply it with 12 such aircraft.

While two of them had already reached Pakistan, the rest four will be provided in July followed by two more later.

According to The News, the US Congress has agreed to provide ten F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan, which would conclude the deal of twelve F-16 planes.

Pakistani diplomatic sources in Washington said that the US had promised to give 12 F-16 fighter planes among which two were already given to Pakistan.

In March 2005, US President George Bush had decided to reward Pakistan, his key ally in the war on terrorism, by authorizing the sale of F-16 fighter jets to it. The move reversed 15 years of policy which begun under Bush's father.

The US barred the sale of F-16s to Pakistan in 1990 out of concern over its then-undeclared nuclear weapons program, but Bush has forged a close relationship with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf since 9/11 attacks, and considers his help crucial in the battle against Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist organization.

Initially, the US had agreed to sell 40 F-16s, but later, due to cash crunch Pakistan offered to purchase only 12 jets.

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