The United States has told Pakistan it will have to finance the purchase of American F-16 fighter jets itself after members of the U.S. Congress objected to using government funds to pay for them. The U.S. government said in February it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, as well as radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million. However, Republican Senator Bob Corker said he would use his power as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to bar use of any U.S. funds for the deal to send a message to Pakistan that it needed to do more in the war against militants. Corker's stance reflected deep unhappiness among both Democrats and Republicans in Congress about what they see as Islamabad’s policy of supporting elements of the Taliban and the Haqqani network blamed for attacks in Afghanistan.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.