US grants Pak F-16 upgrade funds

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Washington, Aug 30 : The Bush administration has cleared the transfer of 227 million dollars of foreign military funds (FMF) to Pakistan for its F-16s mid-life update programme, despite opposition to it from two Congressional leaders.

According to the Daily Times, the upgraded F-16s and additional funds will be used as a counter insurgency measure in Pakistan's volatile Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). arlier, two senior House Members, Howard L Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Nita M Lowey, expressed concern that the proposal would "divert funds from more effective counter-terrorism tools."

They requested a hold to be placed on the planned reprogramming and proposed that Congress provide 200 million dollars in budgetary support to Pakistan.

A State Department spokesman has now asserted that Islamabad sought and was granted the consideration so as to provide much-needed financial relief to the Pakistani government.

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