Washington: Former Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul has introduced a joint resolution in the US Congress to block the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
The resolution (SJ Res 30) calls for prohibiting sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, which the State Department had recently notified to the Congress.
Introduced by Paul on February 24, the resolution also calls for prohibiting sale of other military hardware to Pakistan including eight Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites (AIDWES), 14 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS).
Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has put a hold on the sale of F-16s to Pakistan.
The Obama administration is hopeful that it would be able to overcome legislative challenges to proceed with the sale of the F-16s, which it promised to Pakistan several years ago.
"The US-Pakistan relationship has been a troubled one. Though the government of Pakistan has been considered America's ally in the fight on terrorism, Pakistan's behaviour would suggest otherwise. While we give them billions of dollars in aid, we are simultaneously aware of their intelligence and military apparatus assisting the Afghan Taliban," Paul said.
"In addition to Pakistan's duplicitous nature, it also has a deplorable human rights record. Pakistan often isolates and unjustly jails religious minorities and Christians to include Pakistani Christian Asa Bibi," he said.
"Only after an international outcry did Pakistan commute Asia Bibi's death sentence. In addition to Pakistan's support of terrorism and deplorable human rights record, it continues to imprison Dr Shakil Afridi, who helped the US locate and kill Osama bin Laden," Paul said.