02:12 GMT20 April 2021
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    US President Barack Obama’s administration plans to abandon the plan to subsidize the $700 million deal to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, a senior US State Department official said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The official who spoke on condition of anonymity told the BBC broadcaster’s Hindi desk that the Obama administration "is still very much in favor" of selling the F-16s to Pakistan. Islamabad would however have to bear the full cost of the eight fighter jets, the State Department official added.

    The original arrangement required Pakistan to pay $270 million for the aircraft, with the remaining $430 million paid by the US taxpayer.

    The decision to scrap the subsidy comes as the US Congress blocked the funding for the deal after Pakistan’s regional rival India expressed dissatisfaction with the deal. A factor for some of the US lawmakers’ opposition was the 2011 arrest and the 33-year sentence on charges of treason of a doctor who exposed Osama bin Laden’s location through a fake CIA vaccine program in Pakistan.

    The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said that the State Department had approved the sale of eight F-16 combat aircraft and other equipment to Pakistan on February 12.


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