US Congress not convinced why Islamabad needs new F-16s to fight back Taliban

October 18th, 2008 - 2:31 pm ICT by ANI  


Lahore, Oct 18 (ANI): Though it has now become so critical for the Bush administration to provide Pakistan with new and refurbished F-16 jet fighters to fight the Taliban, the US Congress is still not sure as to why Islamabad needed the jets when it was fighting the extremists on the ground.

According to a Christian Science Monitor (CSM), the US Congress was not sure Islamabad could be trusted to use the planes against tribal Taliban.

It said: The US Congress members wanted to know why Pakistan would need a jet fighter with air-to-air fighter capability when all the Pakistanis really need to fight Taliban from the air is a plane or helicopter with air-to-ground or close air support capabilities.

The report said the long-proposed sale of new and refurbished F-16 jet fighters to Pakistan has become so critical to the Bush administration, which believes the old fleet of fighters the Pakistani Air Force is using now arent effective.

It quoted Lexington Institute analyst Loren Thompson as saying there is a real danger that the weapons will be used for purposes other than that war.

He believed the US would be able to sell the planes to Pakistan , albeit with restrictions. Defence officials said Pakistan must meet other security requirements to house the planes so the F-16s technology does not fall into the wrong hands.

Meanwhile, the US military begins a training effort inside Pakistan this week that holds promise as the US is desperate to help Pakistan fight Taliban in the Tribal Areas. (ANI)

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