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US senator introduces resolution to halt arms sale to Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The United States plan to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan seems to have stirred a veritable hornet’s nest among some quarters in the Washington. In a latest opposition, U.S. Republican Senator Rand Paul says he has introduced a resolution to halt arms sale to Pakistan.

Mr. Rand said in a tweet: “We give them billions in foreign aid while reports suggest they’re helping the Taliban…”

The senator’s scathing attack on Pakistan continues in a series of tweets that follow up. In another tweet, he said “I introduced a Resolution to halt arms sales to the government of Pakistan. If approved it will stop the sale of F-16s & other military gear.”

Read here: US okays sale of 8 Lockheed F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan

“Their (Pakistan) government has been considered an ally against terrorism. But they have been duplicitous, human rights abusers, and jail religious minorities,” said the US Senator in one of the moist critical tweets on Pakistan.

He insisted people to denounce Washington’s support to Pakistan and made a blunt clarion call “Enough is enough. I hope you’ll stand with me against this ludicrous policy.”

The U.S. government said on Feb. 12 it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight F-16 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp, radar and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million.

Related read: Sale of F-16s to Pakistan should not be of concern to India, says Pentagon

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee later sharply questioned U.S. plans to sell F-16s to Pakistan, questioning Pakistani actions he described as threatening U.S. troops as they try to stabilize Afghanistan.

“They continue to support the Taliban, the Haqqani network and give safe haven to al Qaeda,” Republican Senator Bob Corker said to Secretary of State John Kerry, who was testifying to the committee about the State Department’s annual budget request.

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