ISLAMABAD - The US State Department announced an approval of $125 million for Pakistan to provide technical support to its fleet of F-16 aircraft.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 programme for an estimated cost of $125 million,” said a statement by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency(DSCA) of the United States issued on Friday.

The announcement came just days after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s three-day visit to Washington where he had detailed interaction with President Donald Trump and other American authorities with an aim to reset the bilateral ties.

The Agency had already delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on the day.

According to the statement, the Government of Pakistan had requested a continuation of technical support services; US Government and contractor technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 programme.

The total estimated programme cost is $125 million, it added.

However, the Agency said the proposed sale of this support would not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor is Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services LLC, Fairborn, Ohio.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 60 contractor representatives to Pakistan to assist in the oversight of operations as part of the Peace Drive

F-16 programme.

The sale would have no adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

“This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded,” it added.

According to foreign news agencies, Washington also approved $670 million worth of support for India's C-17 transport planes.

Approval to support US-built aircraft for the two South Asian rivals were approved by the State Department, and announced simultaneously by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency.

The potential sale will support US foreign policy and national security "by protecting US technology through the continued presence of US personnel that provide 24/7 end-use monitoring," the statement announcing the Pakistan approval read.

 

US ANNOUNCEMENT INDIAN PROPAGANDA: FIRDOUS

 

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Saturday said the US announcement for logistics and technical support for Pakistan's F-16 fighter jets was a defeat of the Indian propaganda after the Pulwama incident and triumph of Pakistan's stance.

The special assistant, in a series of tweets, said positive results of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the United States had started coming to the fore.

Firdous expressed the confidence that the prime minister's US visit would also prove to be a milestone for bolstering bilateral cooperation between the two countries, besides creating a positive environment in the region.

The entire world, she said, was endorsing the prime minister's viewpoint regarding regional peace and security.

She said Pakistan was heading in the right direction and achieving new milestones under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.