Following the row over financing, Pakistan seems to have failed to seal the deal for the purchase of eight F-16 fighter jets from the United States.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif led-government was required to provide the Letter of Acceptance for purchase of the jets by May 24, but reportedly the document was not issued leading to expiry of the offer.
“Pakistan decided not to fully fund the case with national funds, so the terms of sale have now expired,” Dawn quoted a source as saying.
According to the $699 million deal, eight F-16C/D Block-52 multi-role fighters (2 C and 6 D models), were to partially be financed through the US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme, but the Congress disallowed subsidising the sale over concerns that Islamabad had not done enough to end the Haqqani network’s sanctuaries on its soil.
Following that Pakistan was asked by the US administration to make the full payment for the eight aircraft, which earlier was to be provided at the subsidised rate of $270 million.
It is unclear why Pakistan missed the opportunity despite pressing requirement for the jets.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ambassador to U.S. Jalil Abbas Jilani, said “a dead-end has not been reached as yet”, reports Dawn.
Last month, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Islamabad could look to buy the aircraft from some other country if the deal did not go ahead.
Analysts reportedly believe that Islamabad could consider Russian or Chinese fighters to meet its defence requirements.