US State Dept approves proposed $125m support programme for Pakistan’s F-16s
Posted by WebDesk on 27th July 2019
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The US State Department announced on Friday that the Trump administration is set to approve $125 million for Pakistan to provide technical support to its fleet of F-16 aircraft.

The proposed programme has already been given the go-ahead by the State Department and sent to Congress for approval.

The announcement followed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ice-breaking visit to Washington earlier this week, which included a three-hour visit to the White House as well.

During an unprecedented 47-minute joint press talk with the prime minister on July 21, US President Donald Trump also offered to mediate between India and Pakistan to help them resolve the 70-year old Kashmir dispute.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of $125 million,” said an official announcement released on Friday evening.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification, notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 26, three days after the prime minister’s visit.

The government of Pakistan requested a continuation of technical support services, which includes US government and contractor technical and logistics support services. The request also includes other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 program. The total estimated program cost is $125 million.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by protecting US technology through the continued presence of US personnel that provide 24/7 end-use monitoring,” the State Department said.