‘Not monetary help’: US clarifies F-16 fighter jet aid to Pakistan | Watch
In September, the Biden administration approved the F-16 package for Pak (reversing an existing ban to do so) after the State Department argued the money would help improve Islamabad meet terror-related threats.
Watch: U.S bid to pacify angry India over Pak F-16 aid | Details
The United States' '$450 million sustainment and related equipment programme' to support Pakistan's F-16 fighter jets is part of a contract between the two nations and does not represent 'monetary' help, State Department spokesperson Zed Tarar told news agency ANI.
Speaking on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia, Tarar said, "These are 30-year old aircraft... (provision of) spare parts were in the same contract", and that United States 'keeps a close eye on terrorism'. Tarar's comment comes a day after US president Joe Biden met Chinese leader Xi Jinping and stressed Washington's committment to its Indo-Pacific allies.
In September, the Biden administration approved the F-16 package for Pak (reversing an existing ban to do so) after the State Department argued the money would help improve Islamabad meet terror-related threats by maintaining its fighter jet fleet combat ready.
"The United States government has notified Congress of a proposed Foreign Military Sales case to sustain Pakistan Air Force's F-16 programme. Pakistan is an important counterterrorism partner and, as part of longstanding policy, the United States provides life-cycle maintenance and sustainment packages for US-origin platforms," the department said.
The package, however, did not include the sale of any new capabilities, weapons or munitions, and any support was not expected to alter the region's basic military balance.
The package was billed as major assistance to Pak following a 2018 ban by former US president Donald Trump that stopped all defense and security aid to a country not Islamabad designated as a 'partner' of the US in fighting terrorism.