News / Asia

    Pakistan Says It Needs F-16s From US for Counterterrorism

    Secretary of State John Kerry and Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz participate in the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue meeting at the State Department in Washington, Feb. 29, 2016.
    Secretary of State John Kerry and Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz participate in the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue meeting at the State Department in Washington, Feb. 29, 2016.

    Pakistan said Monday at the start of strategic talks with the United States that a contentious sale of F-16 fighter jets would strengthen the South Asian nation's ability to mount counterterrorist operations and promote regional stability.

    "The prospective sale of F-16s will strengthen Pakistan capabilities to successfully continue these vital operations for our mutual benefit and stability in the region," said Sartaj Aziz, Pakistani adviser on foreign affairs.

    Aziz met with U.S. Secretary of the State John Kerry at the State Department for the sixth Ministerial Level U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

    The U.S. government this month approved the sale of the aircraft, radar and electronic warfare equipment to Pakistan in a deal worth nearly $700 million. Neighboring India opposes the sale, which has drawn criticism from some U.S. lawmakers. Congress could block the deal, although such action is rare.

    Kerry last week told a House committee that Pakistan's existing fleet of F-16s has been critical for its counterterrorism fight on its western border with Afghanistan. Kerry did not mention the F-16 sale in his remarks Monday, but he commended Pakistan's counterterrorism operations, including in North Waziristan, a tribal area where militants have launched cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

    Watch Kerry's comments on Pakistan

    Kerry comments on Pakistani
    X
    February 29, 2016 6:24 PM
    Kerry comments on Pakistan

    "Cooperation along Pakistan's borders is absolutely essential,” Kerry said after Monday's meeting with Aziz. “We recognize the extraordinary and real sacrifices that Pakistan's military, especially in Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the ongoing missions in North Waziristan, and the United States has pledged $250 million to help rebuild the communities of persons who have been displaced by the fighting in these operations."

    Picking and choosing militants

    Pakistan has been accused of targeting some militant groups but nurturing or turning a blind eye to others. Kerry welcomed Pakistan's commitment to not differentiate among terrorist groups. He said groups like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba seek to undermine Pakistan's relations with its neighbors.

    Kerry also said they would also discuss Pakistan's "obligations of being a responsible state with nuclear weapons."

    Adam Ereli, a former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain, said Pakistan is a country of enormous geo-strategic consequences.

    "Given the fact that it is a nuclear power [with] an ongoing conflict with India, given its role in Afghanistan, given the fact that it's a Muslim nation of 150 to 160 million, with severe economic and political challenges ... the U.S. has a very, very strong interest in a stable and cooperative relationship with Pakistan," Ereli said.

    As the threat of Islamic extremism has grown in Pakistan, so has international concern about the security of the nation's nuclear arsenal.

    Experts say Pakistan's nuclear stockpile is growing fast, and it is developing tactical nuclear weapons to deter rival India's larger conventional forces.

    Kerry and Aziz also reviewed progress made by six working groups under the framework of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, including nonproliferation, education, defense consultation group, law enforcement and counterterrorism, economic and finance, as well as the energy working groups, according to spokesman John Kirby.

    The U.S. and Pakistan are among members of the so-called "Quadrilateral Coordination Group," which also includes China and Afghanistan, to support a peace process in Afghanistan.

    While voicing support for an Afghan-led and an Afghan-all peace talk, Aziz said: "In coming days and weeks, all members of the Quadrilateral process will intensify their efforts toward achieving a broader national consensus in support of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan."

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Eric L from: New Jersey
    February 29, 2016 8:21 PM
    Pakistan already has nuclear weapons backstopping their sovereignty (the NRA will tell you how 'an armed society is a polite society'). If we really want to get serious about World peace I think all the old nuclear arms treaties should be thrown out in favor of a new international system of declaration/inspection/peaceful tech sharing. Russia, America, and China can get India, Pakistan, Israel, and the others on board. Then you can really put the screws to North Korea and any other nuclear state that doesn't play ball.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 29, 2016 4:45 PM
    Crazy isn't it? .. The US supplied all the Sunni Muslim countries, kingdoms and emirates who joined them in their covert proxy war against Syria with F-16s, while Afghanistan hasn't got any at all to fight the terrorists the US couldn't defeat in 15 years of trying, nor did the Iraqis get any of the F-16s they bought and paid for in 2009, until they finally got 6 in 2015 from the 30 they ordered? .. Could it be, that the US want's to keep the 3rd world Afghan and Iraqi armies without any airpower whatsoever to fight the terrorist? .. Strange isn't it?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora