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US to look into F-16 user-agreement violation by Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has mentioned it's examining potential misuse of US-made F-16 fighter jets by means of Pakistan in violation of end-user settlement all through its recent spat with India.

This is the 3rd blow to Pakistan from Washington after US officials first stated that India has the appropriate to self defence following the Pulwama terrorist attack and therefore described Indian moves in Balakot as counter-terrorism movements.

The method effectively rejected Islamabad’s competition that India is the aggressor and Pakistan had the appropriate to self-defense – even though the US and different countries many times known as Pakistan out for hosting internationally designated terrorists and terror teams.

The US-made F-16, which the producing company Lockheed Martin has lengthy been trying to hawk to India, is the delight of Pakistan’s Air Force. But after the initial consignment of about three squadrons given in the mid-1980s, principally as reward for Pakistan’s fortify all through the Afghan War, used to be loosely conditioned, subsequent supplies and upgrades were subjected to tighter end-user scrutiny after Pakistan illegally crossed the nuclear rubicon and forced Washington to invoke the Pressler Amendment, resulting in suspension of F-16 gross sales, even the ones it had paid for.

Although F-16 gross sales, spare supply and upgrades resumed after nine/11 when the Bush administration sought Pakistan’s help in the so-called battle on terror, there used to be higher Congressional scrutiny and oversight on the gross sales, resulting in particular stipulations that they be used only for counter-terror operations. The stipulations were mocked by means of many lawmakers, who warned the F-16s would sooner or later be utilized by Pakistan towards India.

"I do not believe that these planes will help us or Pakistan in the war against al Qaeda along the Pakistan/Afghan border, unless al Qaeda has suddenly deployed fighter jets of their own," New York Congressman Gary Ackerman, who moved legislation geared toward blocking F-16 gross sales, sneered all through a 2006 hearing. In truth, one Congressional panel scorned the Bush administration’s unrelenting push for F-16 upgrades for Pakistan, conserving a hearing paradoxically titled "Defeating al-Qaeda’s Air Force: Pakistan’s F-16 Program in the Fight Against Terrorism."

In hindsight, the lawmakers’ scorn seems well-placed at a time the Trump administration — together with President Trump himself — has expressed doubts about Pakistan’s bonafides. "We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information on the potential misuse of American-made F-16 fighter jets by Pakistan against India in violation of the end-user agreement," a State Department authentic told PTI on Friday, whilst a Pentagon spokesman declined to talk about particular end-user settlement on account of non-disclosure clauses.

The program to equip Pakistan with F-16s — sarcastically titled Peace Gate — stretches back to 1981 when Islamabad signed a letter of settlement for the acquisition of 40 F-16A/B (28 F-16A and 12 F-16B). The first consignment (2 A’s and 4 B’s) used to be delivered in 1983 and the remainder despatched in batches till 1987.

By September 1989, Pakistan had signed a deal for an additional 71 f-16s underneath Peace Gate II, III and IV. The airplane were being manufactured when Pakistan crossed the nuclear rubicon causing the Pressler Law to kick in.

Delivery of the ones planes, 28 of them for which Pakistan had paid for, used to be stopped, and the jets were stored on the AMARC (Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, sometimes called the Boneyard, between 1990 and 1994. A stop-work order used to be issued for final 43 planes.

Pakistan had already paid $685 million on the contract for the 28 F-16s, and insisted on both having the planes it ordered delivered or getting its a reimbursement. The dispute dragged on for 8 years sooner than the Clinton administration reached a deal in 1998 with the Nawaz Sharief executive agreeing to pay $326.nine million in cash and the remainder in different reimbursement together with wheat and soya bean oil. Some of the 28 planes were therefore leased to New Zealand.

The Bush administration re-opened the F-16 spigot subsequent to nine/11 and Pakistan’s "services" in the so-called battle on terror, but given fierce opposition in Congress and from India, the more moderen F-16s and upgrades to older ones were routed through Jordan and Turkey.

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