A United States senator introduced a resolution of disapproval over the proposed sale of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, while another called on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold a hearing on the deal.
Reports this month of the Barack Obama-adminsitration's decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan evoked an angry reaction from India, which expressed concern over the sale of the arms to Pakistan.
On Thursday, U.S. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he wanted a hearing on the sale, while U.S. Senator Rand Paul said he introduced a resolution of disapproval to halt the arms sales to Pakistan, as per reports.
"I think that the future of Asia, if we want to have the kind of influence that we always had and a deterrence to the Chinese behaviour is a very close relationship between the United States and India. Which by the way the F-16 issue complicates that," MCain told reporters, according to The American Bazaar.
Earlier this week, Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, had also questioned the nearly $700 million deal, reportedly stating that Pakistan continued to "support the Taliban, the Haqqani network and give safe haven to al-Qaida."
A senior U.S. military official said that the deal will affect relations between India and the U.S.
"With regard to the sale of F-16s to Pakistan, while I don't have a professional opinion on that sale itself, certainly it will affect some aspects of our relationship with India," the US Pacific Command (PACOM) Commander, Admiral Harry Harris reportedly told U.S. lawmakers Wednesday.
The U.S. administrations has maintained that the F-16 fighter jets are meant to boost Pakistan's counter terrorism and counterinsurgency operations.