WASHINGTON, Jan 12 : The US Congress has "stalled" a planned sale of eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported on Tuesday quoting congressional and diplomatic sources.
Concerned over the end use of the F-16 fighter jets by Pakistan, US lawmakers have used clarification and information notices to delay the sale of the combat aircraft. The Obama administration has also received a "hold" notice from the Senate, Dawn reported.
However, the sale of F-16s has been put only on "hold" and it can still go through if the administration continues to push for it, Dawn said. The US lawmakers' move comes at a time when the Obama administration has asked Pakistan to act fast against the perpetrators of the Pathankot attack.
Amid Indian intelligence reports that groups and people within Pakistan planned and executed the strike on the Pathankot airbase, a senior state department official said Pakistan should not come out with lame excuses to shield themselves as has been the case with the Mumbai terrorist attack. "They (Pakistan) have said publicly that they are going to investigate. They have said publicly that they are not going to discriminate between terrorist groups. We look to see actions to back up those words," the official added. Senior US government officials have been in close contact with their Pakistani counterparts in the aftermath of the attacks in Pathankot and Afghanistan's Majar-e-Sharif urging them to take the right course of action which, if they do, would not only be a great confidence building measure but would also help improve the relationship with India. ?TNN