F-16s For Pakistan: Again

Exclusively running on Pakpotpourri2:

Javed Helali is a known political commentator based in Plugerville, USA. 

In the 1990s the US sold a number of F-16s (Fighting Falcons) to Pakistan for about $463 millions. But Pakistan never received them due to an amendment in the US Congress known as the Pressler Amendment by ex senator Larry Pressler who is on record as saying “ I am one of the Americans who are hooked to India”. He is also a member of the board of directors in an Indian technological company. The amendment, basically was that Pakistan should be punished because of its nuclear programme. The planes were never delivered. The amount refunded was $140 million less than the amount paid by Pakistan. Part of it was considered “service charge” by the supplying company and the rest was supposed to be fobbed off with “gifts” in kind like white wheat! I wonder why Pakistan did not go to court against the supplier and asked for interest on the $463 million it had already paid and was deprived of its use for 8 years while the money lay outside its control.

Now the US is selling 18 new and 26 old F-16s to Pakistan  at a total cost of about $3 billion. It will also upgrade about 34 old F-16s that Pakistan already has. Lockheed Martin, the builder of F-16s and other principal contractors like Boeing CO., Raytheon Co., Northrop-Grumman Corp., and General Electric Corp. are the main beneficiaries of the deal signed at Rawalpindi, the Military Headquarters of Pakistan.

Several reasons come to mind. One. Pakistan is now grudgingly accepted as a member of the Nuclear Club (albeit, unofficially) by the western nuclear powers. Two. It helps mitigate the insult caused by the earlier shoddy behavior of the 1990s sale. Taking money and not delivering and the goods was definitely bad business and much worse foreign policy. Three. The US thinks that  selling the planes now will further empower its ally in the person of President Musharraf, promote trust, and undermine anti-Americanism in Pakistan etc. Four. It also shows that the US may have learnt from its mistake of abandoning Pakistan in the 1990s and is now trying to build a long-term relationship. Five. The US may be hoping that this sale might help Pakistan to democratize and modernize and make it a better neighbor to India and transform the Pak-India relationship into something mutually constructive. Six. It may reduce Pakistan’s doubts about US willingness to and ability to sustain a beneficial relationship between the two countries. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it may prove to the Pakistani military (specially) and people that cooperation with the US brings benefits and that the US understands Pakistan’s security concerns.

Strings attached: A statement issued by the Pakistan Air force does not mention the conditions set by the US on the use and maintenance of the planes. The air Force is apparently interested in acquiring the “toys” irrespective of its eventual beneficial use.

The US has sought unusual guarantees (and apparently got them) to prevent the technology of these very advance planes from falling into the hands of countries such as China with whom Pakistan has good military relationship. The Russian MiG-29s that India has and will start mass-producing them soon is equally advanced and in some respects supposed to be even better. The recently concluded Indo-US military exercises might throw more light on the above.

The strings or conditions are as follows:

The US government must approve all F-16 flights outside of Pakistani air space, including for exercises with other countries. Question of sovereignty arises here.

The US is withholding unspecified F-16 technologies so that it could not be used in any “offensive” way to penetrate air space of another country. India, I presume.

Pakistan’s F-16 fleet and munitions would be segregated from aircraft supplied by other countries so that third country/unauthorized engineers could not get access to the planes. China, I presume.

US personnel would carry out inventories and their associated systems every six months. A very important question of sovereignty arises again.
From the above it seems that if Pakistan is to abide by all the US safeguards, it will be against its national interest to buy these planes. Nothing much can be said except that if lawmakers had a say in the affairs of the country, this expenditure would probably have not taken place. Pakistan’s known “enemy” is India. If the planes cannot be used against them if and when necessary then what is the use of buying them (without the guarantee of delivery in any case)? Also, India is vastly superior to Pakistan in military numbers. What would a handful of F-16s do in the case of a prolonged war if, God forbid, it ever happens? Wouldn’t the $3billion be more useful if spent on uplifting the socio-economic welfare of the country?

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Comments

  • Dr Naseem  On February 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you . Its always been U.S stance over all these decades . We remain economically dependent on US & hence this vulnerability . Answer is only in our adopting Austerity measures , We cannot afford lot of the luxuries we are accustomed to . We can do miracles in very short time . We need a MAN at the top & enlightened nationalists . We have everything to be prosperous on our own . Will anyone listen. Best wishes Nasim

  • NAVEED TAJAMMAL  On February 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    The question is,Helali never once wrote a piece when indians signed the latest induction deal in its Airforce nor when indian bought the Russain Akula’s (submarine) or when they put up the money to buy the British Aircraft carrier,
    however on Pakistan, getting already paid for jets, his,love for pakistan,and wish that money,should have been, spent on welfare,which, was a better option,is he aware that by 2014 indian Aqua Bombs{Dams on our share of upper rivers,IWT 1960 Accord} will be fully developed,and, even,the most outdated would be the need of the hour.But then Helali,does not live in pakistan does he ? nor heeds indian flexing of muscles.

  • Hussain  On February 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Okay So do we again Blame Zardari or the Civilian govt for this. The Military in Pakistan has been taking unilateral decision in Pakistan and begging from US for all their aid and equipment. And in the end it is the civilian leadership which gets the blame.
    Just read these lines

    “”The air Force is apparently interested in acquiring the “toys” irrespective of its eventual beneficial use” Can some body hold these Incompetent PAF clowns accountable. They have failed to defend against the drone attacks and NATO intrusions. Why DO we need more useless planes foe this useless PAF

    Let’s divert only 20% of the defence budget towards education and health for next ten years and we will be back on track. Otherwise there is no use of these articles.

    Coward Clowns will keep on calling the shots and getting caught with their pants down ( Four times in 2011, Raymond Davis, OBL, Mehran Base etc)

  • K. Hussan Zia  On February 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    There is another aspect that has been missed in this rather dated piece. The operational availability of military aircraft is critically dependent upon assured supply of stores and spare parts. By keeping it on a tight leash or stopping it altogether the US can render the aircraft virtually useless in a very short space of time. They have always exercised this option in the past and no doubt will do so again. Somehow our military top brass never seem to learn from our own and that too not very old history.

  • Hamad  On February 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Though the article is well researched but certain areas which in my view require revision are appended below:
    Some of the reasons for US to sell F-16 mentioned in the article are not supported by the ground facts. Though there can be some other reasons which may have allowed US for such sale.One. US refused to handover F-16 to Pak back in 1990 and it has option to do it again on pretext of nuclear/arms proliferation and IP gas pipeline alongwith many others Two. Being a nuclear state has no relevance in arms trade and thus it has no relevance with this sale. Three. US will only modernize Pak to an extent that Indian superiority both in numbers and technology is not disturbed and it was ensured by offering joint production of F-18 to India. Four. USAF is currently operating F-18, F-22 and F-35 and selling F-16 will only help her defense industry grow and meet her expenses while accepting no loses in any regard. Five. JF-17 and now J-10 has incorporated designs and specs of F-16 already and selling F-16 to Pak will not allow US technology to fall into wrong hands. Six. Exercising strict control and monitoring by routinely visits can help US detect/guage any proliferation and level of cooperation b/w Pak and China by having boots on ground.
    On the other hand, Pak had limited choice in aircraft market. Till 2006, the leading aircraft with PAF was F-16 being obsolete in modern armies of the world. India was by then in process of acquiring 4th and 5th generation aircrafts (F-16 is 3rd generation aircraft) alongwith signing deals for indiginous production; induction of Rafale and development of 5th generation aircraft with Russia are just two examples. India also had supiriority in numbers. One may argue then about induction of JF-17 and J-10 but this fact should be kept in mind that both are still in developing stages (J-10 is not even operational). And one must also know that an aircraft which has just come out of factory can’t be relied upon for going into war. Same argument is proven by the fact that JF-17 unlike F-16 hasn’t been used in FATA till today. On other hand our economy doesnt allow us to buy expensive and state of art modern aircrafts. Therefore the only option left was F-16 which has proven its worth over the time and which has been in use with PAF since 1980s.
    And lastly, socio economic developement is must for any society but it can’t be done at cost of your defense. Defense budget is alocated separately and defense procurements are planed over decades not in a year or so. Armed forces even generate their own funds for these to materialise their modernization plans, keeping in view our fragile economy. And last but not the least why we always talk about the enormous defense budget (without comparing it with other nations) while we all know that Pak can even save while remaining with her present resources keeping in view the vast tax potential etc. Do we require to cut down our defense budget which is well managed and well expended or our national budget requires evaluation, check and balance?

    • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 3:20 am

      Mr. Hamad,
      I had no idea, all Pak Military Hardware purchases are supposed to be to fight India. If that’s the case, just forget about it because Pakistan can not keep purchasing Arms with Money borrowed from the West against India that has her own cash and that has started building much more advanced Missiles with help of Russia than Pakistan would everj.

      • Hamad  On February 8, 2012 at 8:11 am

        If you are talking about money, so definitely we don’t have much of that. But if its about resilience then we definitely have the max. Out of our meagre resources, we will keep on strengthening our defense and if at some stage, we fail in doing that, unconventional warfare will be the deciding factor in which we are much advanced as acknowledged by the world. In conventional field, building Al Kahlid and Al Zarar tanks against Arjun and Vijayanta tanks are few of many hallmarks.

  • S U Turkman  On February 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I am reproducing the article below and inserting my comments therein, where necessary to blow this man’s lies apart.
    ———–.
    “In the 1990s the US sold a number of F-16s (Fighting Falcons) to Pakistan for about $463 millions”.
    .
    TURKMAN: USA never sells any Military Hardware to any country because USA does not manufacture them. Private Companies in USA manufacture and sell them. Pakistan had ordered General Dynamics to build F-16s for her in anticipation that USA would permit their export to Pakistan without consulting US Government on the subject.
    ———–
    But Pakistan never received them due to an amendment in the US Congress known as the Pressler Amendment by ex senator Larry Pressler who is on record as saying “ I am one of the Americans who are hooked to India”. He is also a member of the board of directors in an Indian technological company. The amendment, basically was that Pakistan should be punished because of its nuclear programme.
    .
    TURKMAN: Just Larry Pressler could not stop that export to Pakistan and majority of US Assembly and Senate had voted against that sale. US President that did not have a majority had informed Gen. Zia ahead of time, the export could not be allowed by the Senate so that Pakistan does not pay for F-16s in advance any money.
    ———.
    The planes were never delivered. The amount refunded was $140 million less than the amount paid by Pakistan.
    .
    TURKMAN: There is no Government so foolish in this world that pays a private company in advance before receiving the Goods. All pay as the Goods are delivered but since not paying the company meant, no Commission, the money was paid by GHQ in advance despite knowing that deal can not go through for only one reason. To get its Commission deposited in its Swiss Bank Account. The Price of F-16s was $ 140 million and rest of the $ 323 of the total $ 463 was GHQ’s Commission. General Dynamics could not pay back they it had already deposited in GHQ’s secret Swiss Bank Account through an American good friend of mine. Well, he had charged 2% for that and GHQ had paid that. The reason was, General Dynamics could not deposit that amount direct because it would have proven there was bribing involved and no US Manufacturer is allowed to pay Bribe to sell its product by US Laws.
    ——–
    Part of it was considered “service charge” by the supplying company and the rest was supposed to be fobbed off with “gifts” in kind like white wheat! I wonder why Pakistan did not go to court against the supplier and asked for interest on the $463 million it had already paid and was deprived of its use for 8 years while the money lay outside its control.
    .
    TURKMAN: All this is Lies. Pakistan could not sue USA for rest of the money because Pakistan had never paid that money to USA and Military had already received the rest of the money in its Swiss Account. There was no evidence that USA had received even a Penny of that money. After Pres. Clinton came in power, he had paid more than $ 323 to Pakistan as Charity of Aid so, Pakistan would stop spreading her this lie against USA in Pakis to spread hatred against USA. When Paki Journalists on ISI Pay Roll still kept repeating that B.S., USA had to request Pakistan to shut them up. Govt. of Pakistan had then, issued an Official Statement that F-16 Money has been received by Pakistan and USA does not owe Pakistan any money. This statement was published in Pak Newspapers but I guess, this man never reads any Newspapers.
    ———-
    Now the US is selling 18 new and 26 old F-16s to Pakistan at a total cost of about $3 billion. It will also upgrade about 34 old F-16s that Pakistan already has. Lockheed Martin, the builder of F-16s and other principal contractors like Boeing CO., Raytheon Co., Northrop-Grumman Corp., and General Electric Corp. are the main beneficiaries of the deal signed at Rawalpindi, the Military Headquarters of Pakistan.
    .
    TURKMAN: This is a lie again. US Government is not selling any of the above because US Govt. does not own them. Pakistan has ordered private US Companies to build and supply them. US Govt. is not in to Arms Sale and does not own those companies. USA buys from these companies for her Military..Just like before, if Pak Military pays the manufacturers in advance and US Assembly or Senate rejects that export, Pakistan would be facing repeat of that so called F-16 Sale but I guess, this is what GHQ wants again.
    ———-
    Several reasons come to mind. One. Pakistan is now grudgingly accepted as a member of the Nuclear Club (albeit, unofficially) by the western nuclear powers. Two. It helps mitigate the insult caused by the earlier shoddy behavior of the 1990s sale. Taking money and not delivering and the goods was definitely bad business and much worse foreign policy.
    .
    TURKMAN: Only a Liar or an ignorant person can say all this I am not wasting time in reading the rest of B.S. of this Liar.
    ————– (rest of the article truncated)

    • NAVEED TAJAMMAL  On February 8, 2012 at 2:51 am

      Turkman,So whom are you representing the American ‘State Department’ ?
      or some media firm employed to watch American interests in the region ?
      As one reads your comments,from time to time,they always depict,what has,been stated above.

      • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 3:24 am

        Sorry to learn that exposing loot of Pakistan by Pak Military means, I work for American Interests. Sorry to learn, Pak Military Generals are your gods that you can not hear anything against and you are not really a Moslim, who stands up against corruption and Lies. Its a shame to have Pakistani Moslims like you. No wonder Pakistan is where she is now.

  • Portugheis Alberto  On February 8, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Mr Javed Helali,

    Military toys are never bought or sold for the benefit of any country. These operations are only and exclusively carried out for the benefit of:

    1) the scientists and engineers who developed them
    2) the employees of the firms that manufacture them
    3) the owners of those firms
    4) bankers who provide funds for the purchase of military toys
    5) militaries and politicians involved in military toys operations (buying or
    selling)
    6) the oil industry
    7) the drug industry
    8) international building contractors
    9) international Security firms
    10) the “Refugee” Industry
    11) manufacturers of military uniforms
    12) Funeral parlours
    13) Religious organisations

    The real COST of these purchases is:
    1) lives of millions
    2) thousands of families destroyed
    3) children made orphans
    4) parents left childless
    5) brothers and sisters left without siblings
    6) countries destroyed, impoverished and with increased debts
    7) countries and societies further divided

    Item 7 is necessary, so that War Games never stop. This is the required guarantee for the healthy financial future of all the Merchants of Death mentioned in the first list.

    Alberto

  • Syed Wajahat  On February 8, 2012 at 1:14 am

    While agreeing with Mr Alberto, I find it hilarious that the reason given for the necessity of
    these toys is security and safety of the population, in light of 7 items identified as the COST.

    Is material wealth the only reason to be alive on the planet? I do not think so. Let us find
    a way to replace the military toys with toys of greater pleasure. Perhaps then, all of the 7
    identified items will go away.

    Some thing to ponder.

  • Idrees  On February 8, 2012 at 1:34 am

    Probably that’s why India did not buy American equipment and went for
    French makes.
    idrees

    • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 4:02 am

      Yeah, it was great. Money borrowed from USA, spent in France. We have never bought any Weapons or Military Hardware from our own money because Pakistan has not earned any net Foreign Exchange since her birth. We have guts to demand USA pay money that was given to us by USA as Charity, when it was already deposited back in our GHQ Swiss Bank Account.

      • NAVEED TAJAMMAL  On February 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

        Turkman you ought to be put in the Nut house,Idrees here is talking,about, the Indians, your buddies.Open your eyes,and read, before you give your foul comments for a change.

  • Varris  On February 8, 2012 at 1:35 am

    i want to reassure my countrymen that the Imposed conditions are no
    impediment to use of these planes when the time comes. Once the pilot
    is sitting in them, with engines running there is no way you can stop
    him reaching his target in India. Avionics be damned . A skilled
    pilot , and only the best fly F-16s, will penetrate the Indian
    airspace and deliver the weapon. If a formation of four F-16 takes
    off with nukes and only one gets through it will be curtains for the
    target. The Americans know this and the Indians know this. The
    condition’s are just an eye wash.

    All said and done it would have been better if an other supplier was
    chosen. But in international politics who can you rely on. The French
    ditched us under US pressure and did not give us the reactor ,
    committed by guarantees. The Iranians did not come to our aid during
    1971 , because US told them that they are not allowed to use US
    equipment outside Iran.I had myself taken part in two IRPAK air
    exercises just for this eventuality but when the push came to a shove
    the Iranians under the Shah peed in their pants and refused us. Our
    pact with them was that we would help if they are attacked by Iraq.
    They were supposed to do the same if we were attacked by India. It
    was the valiant Jordanians who in spite of US pressure sent us their
    F-104s and which were flown by Pakistani pilots during air
    combat. .

    once the war breaks out it is a matter of survival and who gives a
    shit what conditions are attached.But there is no doubt that the
    Americans are the worse people to deal with. Trust them to always let
    you down.

    varris

    • NAVEED TAJAMMAL  On February 8, 2012 at 3:07 am

      Well said .iranians also used up our 100 tanks,which had been sent in Shah’s time for engine replacements,in the iraqi-iranian war.

    • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 6:20 am

      So, you are so illiterate and ignorant person Varris that you don’t even know, F-16 is a light Jet Fighter, not a Bomber?
      What else I should expect on Forum of Pakis …!

  • Khurram Ali  On February 8, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Thanks for sharing this article with all of us. The sooner we move
    away from the US the better it is going to be for Pakistan in the long
    run.

    • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 4:07 am

      Yeah we should move away from USA so, our people can start starving like Afghans were starving under our beloved Taliban Rule and US Dollar had become worth 2 lac Afghanis.

  • Syed Wajahat  On February 8, 2012 at 4:28 am

    If ever there was a conscience in any of these dealings. Would Pakistan be in a mess such as it is today.
    3 Billion Dollars, spent to build dams and industry would put Pakistan on way to immense
    progress. That of course would make the population too intelligent for the “Leaders” to fool.

    Syed W. Hussain

    • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 6:22 am

      Why should they care about Pakistanis?
      Allah has given this country to them to loot only.

  • Naveed Tajammul  On February 8, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Strangely we are being reminded of a ‘Conscience’,the question is where are these champions of conscience,when the bloody Indians,with 500 million living below the poverty,line,buy top of line super Aircraft carriers{British},or the Russian Akula Submarines or,the latest Inked, Jet deal for its Air force ? Are they aware that by 2014 Indian Dams on our share of upper three rivers will be completed ? The Aqua Bombs ? making Pakistan Arid.And ‘helali’ sitting in the Lap of Uncle Sam under the Yum Yum tree is recommending,that money should have gone on welfare,is Not safeguarding one’s country frontiers the best Welfare ???

    Naveed Tajammal,

    • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 6:25 am

      Yeah, yeah Naveed because 39% of Bloody Indians are living below Poverty Line in India, its okay for Pakistani Rulers to make 49% of Paak people live below Poverty Line, right?

  • Syed Wajahat  On February 8, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Very well said!

    However, may I refer to Javed Elahi’s article on the purchase.
    The restrictions imposed in use of these machines, if true, is the trump card.
    What match is the purchase for what India has purchased with no restrictions.

    3 billion could easily had solved the water problem that has been created by India.

    Syed W. Hussain

  • Naveed Tajammul  On February 8, 2012 at 4:30 am

    The Americans,are good,they took the best from Hitlers Team,beside the Scientist and doctors well advanced in Genetics,they have,also used P.J.Goebbels,and his techniques in their own,devious, ways,one finds most of articles written,of similar nature, originating from the USA which are written,in the way a well wisher would advice,the element of doubt is always created,and options given,like this option of using 3 billion on welfare,But what better welfare can it be then that used to defend the countries Frontiers ???

    Naveed Tajammal,

    • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 6:29 am

      Yeah, yeah. Americans are Satanic and this is why saintly Pakis have been living off their Charity of Aid since 1953 and Charity of Loans since 1955.
      Lying is our Habit, Corruption is our Culture, Begging is our Profession and Hate is our Religion …!

  • S U Turkman  On February 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Well Hammad,
    If you think, Pakistan is stronger than India in Conventional Warfare, what the hell are we waiting for?
    Attack India instead of keep killing Pakistanis, Afghans, Americans and ISAP Workers and Soldiers in Afghanistan through Taliban …!
    Allaho Akbar …!

  • Ian Ombima  On March 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    From the look of things Pakistan is being over charged and getting less value for money. Once again Pakistan is being conned by the US..

    • sturkman  On March 9, 2012 at 6:08 am

      Nobody is forcing Pakistan to buy anything from USA at Gun Point especially with money that Pakistan had begged from USA. Go buy whatever you want from Russia …!
      O, but the problem is, Russia does not want to sell you that kind of shit.

  • cheap rc trucks  On March 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Nice read I loved it. I search the web looking for great read s like this. Keep up the good work.

  • Mohammad Ataullah  On May 9, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Assalamu Alaikum, Bhen Yasmeen,

    Shukran Jazeelan, Jazak’Allah Khaiyr for sending this info article.

    It is unbelievable that Pakistani Politicians and Military. instead of walking away from the deal are even going ahead. Where the seller;
    have not only not delivered the previous goods but have not even returned the money. It is like, having paid in full, for a expensive car, which has not been delivered by the dealer and yet asking to forget about the old deal, buy the same (previous older) model for much more money and with conditions. Where buyer can and cannot drive, which mechanic can go to, where, how far and which city buyer can drive and not before prior permission is taken and granted!
    It only means one thing, they both (Politicians and Military) want to make lot of money from this deal.

    What can public do? Spread the word. Make people aware. Protest and stop the deal from going thru and get the old money back!

    Shukran Jazeelan, Jazakumullahu Khaiyran, Wassalam,
    Mohammad Ataullah.

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