Senate blocks sale to Pakistan

The U.S. Senate on Thursday blocked an effort to prevent the $700 million sale of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, although a key lawmaker said he would not allow the use of U.S. funds to finance it. Lawmakers voted 71 to 24 against an attempt introduced by Republican Senator Rand Paul to prevent the sale under legislation known as the Arms Control Act. President Barack Obama’s administration announced on Feb. 12 that it had approved the sale to Pakistan of the aircraft, as well as radars and other equipment. It drew immediate criticism from India and concern from some members of Congress. Paul had called Pakistan “an uncertain ally” and other lawmakers expressed concerns about Pakistan’s nuclear program, commitment to fighting terrorist organizations and cooperation in the Afghanistan peace process”.

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