US- Pakistan relations

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US- Pakistan relations milestones
The Times of India
In 2016 Congressman Ted Poe moved a bill to get Pakistan declared a terrorist state, but still…
The Times of India
US- Pakistan relations were at a low in 2016, but still…
The Times of India

TIME LINE: Chronology Of Pak-US Relations


August 1947: The US welcomes the independence of India from British rule, and becomes one of the first countries to recognise Pakistan.

1950: Pakistan’s first PM Liaquat Ali Khan turns down an invitation by the former USSR for a visit to Moscow, opting to pay a state visit to the US after being invited by Washington.

1954: Amid concerns about Soviet expansion, the US and Pakistan sign a mutual defence agreement. Military aid to Pakistan between 1953 and 1961 totals $508 million.

1955: Pakistan joins two US-sponsored regional defence pacts — South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) and the Central Treaty Organisation (CTO). As a result, Islamabad receives nearly $2 billion in US assistance from 1953 to 1961, including $508 million in military aid.

1962: The Indo-China War sees the US reaching out to India and offering it both military and economic aid. President Kennedy had assured Pakistani President Mohammed Ayub Khan that if the United States decided to give India military aid, he would talk with Khan first. His failure to do so in November 1962 deeply offended the Pakistani leader. To reassure Pakistan, Washington reaffirms its previous assurances that it will come to Pakistan’s assistance in the event of aggression from India

1965: Second war with India over Kashmir. The US cuts off aid to both nations. The Pakistanis are embittered at what they consider a friend’s betrayal

1971: The US again suspends military aid to Pakistan because of the India-Pakistan conflict.

1975: The US resumes limited financial aid to Pakistan

1979: The US suspends military aid after Pakistan constructs a uranium enrichment facility.

1980: he US pledges military assistance to Pakistan following Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. It also turns northern Pakistan into a base and conduit for US and Saudi-armed Afghan resistance fighters

1981: The US offers Pakistan a $3.2 billion, five-year economic and military aid package. Pakistan becomes a key ally of the US in the Afghan war.

1985: A section of the Foreign Assistance Act known as the Pressler Amendment requires the president to certify to Congres that Pakistan does not possess nuclear weapons.

1990: US military aid is again suspended under the provisions of the Pressler Amendment.

1992: The US relaxes sanctions on Pakistan to allow food and economic assistance to non-governmental organisations.

1998: Pakistan conducts its own nuclear tests after India explodes several devices. The US sends Pakistan $140 in economic and agricultural aid but imposes full restrictions on all non-humanitarian aid because of continuing nuclear tests.

1999: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif overthrown in military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf. The US sanctions limited aid to countries under coup governments come into effect.

September 2001: President Musharraf assures President Bush of ‘unstinted cooperation in the fight against terrorism’, as Powell asks Pakistan leaders if they were for or against the terrorists and their supporters in Afghanistan. In exchange, the US lifts some sanctions placed on Pakistan after the nuclear tests of 1998 and the coup of 1999. Large amounts of aid begin to flow to Pakistan. Congres grants the president special waivers to coup-related sanctions on Pakistan through 2003.

October 2001: US Under Secretary of State, Alan Larson, offers preferential treatment to some of the Pakistani export items, discuss generous treatment of Pakistani $3 billion debt at the Paris Club. Promises that the US will not leave Pakistan in a lurch after achieving its objectives in Afghanistan.

2002: The US cobbles together a $350 million package for Pakistan, earmarking $512 million for military financing.

2003: President Bush announces a five-year, $3 billion package for Pakistan. Legislation to both extend and to end the waiver of coup-related sanctions is presented to Congres.

2004: The US declares Pakistan ‘major non-NATO ally’

2005: Following the tragic October earthquake, the US announces a $510 million commitment for earthquake relief and reconstruction.

2006: Diplomatic ties strengthen as President Bush visits Pakistan in March.

2007: Washington tries to broker a power-sharing arrangement between President Musharraf and opposition leader in exile Benazir Bhutto.

2008: President Musharraf resigns as Washington appears to be distancing itself from him. His resignation signals the end of an important era in US-Pakistan relations.

Credits: Council on Foreign Relations ( and PBS Foundation (

The class character of the relationship

The nature of our [Pakistan's] ties with the US

By M. Abul Fazl


Pakistan's neo-colonial relationship with the US

We do not have to travel to a “banana republic” to study the neo-colonial phenomenon. We only have to make a dispassionate observation of our own society to arrive at a scientific definition of the term. For, seldom before has a nation of one hundred and seventy million souls managed the feat. But, as AJP Taylor says: ”Impossible is what one gets from history.”

The positive aspect of the problematique is that the clarification of a situation, the revelation of its inner laws of development, leads to clarity of thought and, therefore, to effective action.

The dictionary of political economy defines neo-colonialism as: ”Its origin lies in the inconsistency of the old colonial policy with the crumbling of the imperialist system. The material base of the existence of neo-colonialism is situated, in the first place, in the fact that the developing countries, which have integrated themselves with the system of international capitalist division of labour, continue to be economically dependent upon the imperialist countries and, secondly that the foreign capital, above all imperialist monopolies, preserve an important place in the economies of these countries.”(Economia Politica, Diccionario, Editorial Progreso, Moscu, 1985.)

This definition leaves out two important conditions:(a) there should exist, within the backward country, a class in whose own interest it would be to retain a client relationship with the advanced country concerned and,(b) the population should be de-politicised or, at least, kept out of politics.

Our neo-colonial relationship with the US is not a continuity of our relationship with Britain, though it is not entirely unrelated to it. Our old colonial status had oriented us to the Anglo-Saxon world. But we developed a neo-colonial relationship with the US as a result of our own internal developments from 1954 onward. Today it has matured and is undisguised. President Bush and Secretary Rice tell us of their preferences in Pakistan. The US ambassador and her staff feel no hesitation in making public their views about how Pakistan’s affairs should be managed. Persons from various political parties are incessantly calling on them to explain matters or solicit help.

The strongest emphasis in all these pronouncements, theirs and ours, is on moderation. This is not just in opposition to the creed of religious militants. It is also meant to exclude from the political discourse, any discussion of social changes, of a re-distribution of wealth.

The Pakistan Movement: a stir of the nascent Muslim bourgeoisie

The roots of our present situation can be traced to the nature of our struggle, or the lack of one, for independence. Muslim League was not a feudal organisation, as claimed by Nehru. It was the party of the nascent Muslim bourgeoisie. The economic basis of the upper-class Muslims of northern India was, mainly, the land, which, of course, does not increase. It was disappearing with the increase in inheritors. Its natural substitute as the field of economic activity would be the capitalist sector.

This was closed to them by the Hindu capitalists, who dominated this sector for historical reasons. As a substitute, the Muslims demanded quotas for themselves in government employment, as these could be created in state organisations but not in the private sector. Thus Hamza Alavi’s derisive remark about the struggle of the “salariat” is misplaced. State jobs are often the first step towards the embourgeoisement of the pre-capitalist class.

This crisis of feudalism existed in UP and Bihar. The Bengali Muslims’ struggle was more straight-forward – that of Muslim peasants against Hindu landowners. Thus the Muslims of these provinces were striving for participation in capitalist development, the road to which was closed to them. There was no such feudal crisis in Punjab and Sindh, where the landed class was comfortable due to the recent cutting of the canals.

The Muslims had to make no sacrifices for national independence. [Indpaedia editor's note: Not for Pakistan, true. But hundreds of Muslims were martyred and countless imprisoned while fighting for Indian independence.] In fact, very few took part in nationalist struggle after Gandhi practically ousted them from it by scuttling the non-cooperation movement of 1921 at its height. Even when the Muslims rallied around the Muslim League with the demand for Pakistan, their struggle could not acquire a mass character as the masses were not Muslim in the area of feudal crisis. They could only struggle constitutionally. Therefore, while the Congrs made sacrifices for freedom, the Muslim League bargained to get its share in it.

Newborn Pakistan lacked grassroots leaders

This placed Pakistan in a strange situation on its independence. The bulk of the party which had led the movement for Pakistan had been left in India. Those who were in Pakistan, or migrated from India, had no experience of organising or leading a mass movement. The government was, therefore, without a political tool to administer the country. Secondly, Muslim League had demanded Pakistan in order to create a national capitalist market for the rising Muslim bourgeoisie.

But the feudal class was very strong in West Pakistan. And it had been further strengthened recently when it drove away the Hindu money-lenders to whom it owed large sums. This feudal class prevented land-reforms and, ultimately, destroyed the nascent Pakistani industrial bourgeoisie. The party in East Pakistan was bourgeois but its influence on the central leadership was not strong.

Power passes to the civil and military bureaucracies

In this situation, effective power passed to the well-organised civil bureaucracy, which drew in its military counterpart too. The two bureaucracies, drawn mainly from the middle class, had a bourgeois outlook. They launched a state-financed and supported programme of industrialisation, which had, by the mid-sixties, got Pakistan well into the first stage of industries – textiles and other light manufactures and even started with the second stage. An industrial bourgeoisie also began to emerge as a class-for-itself. During this period, the civil-military bureaucracy not only kept the East Pakistani leaders away from power but had the upper hand vis-à-vis the West Pakistani feudal class too.

However, the two bureaucracies, not wanting to lose power, were opposed to the holding of elections. When a part of the civil bureaucracy did, nevertheless, collude with the East Pakistani politicians to frame a constitution and set the date for the first general elections, the army made a putsch and the bureaucracy seized power in its own name.

A client relationship with the USA

Before this, the bureaucracy sought a solution to the problem of defence against relentless Indian menace, not by mobilising the masses, an action which would have gone against its nature, but by entering into a military alliance with the US. This was done by the trio of Ghulam Mohammad, Iskandar Mirza and Ayub Khan in 1954, going over the political government’s head. The alliance brought us some arms but, like any alliance between a great power and a weak country, it served essentially the interests of the US. For example, it was on the US’s advice that we refrained from acting in Kashmir during the Sino-Indian war of 1962. Again, in 1965, we stopped just short of cutting India’s link with Kashmir under US’s threat. Lastly, the treaty did not save East Pakistan from Indian invasion. So much for the three foolish bureaucrats’ hare-brained scheme of taking arms from the US on the pretext of fighting communism and using them to take Kashmir.

This alliance, no doubt, created a client relationship with the US. But it was an uneasy relationship because a weak but growing industrial bourgeoisie was exerting a nationalist influence upon our policies. What provided a material basis for our slide from clientelism to a neo-colonial relationship with the US was the destruction of this national bourgeoisie by the People’s Party government, which came to power after the separation of East Pakistan.

The break-up was the result of the maturing contradictions of prolonged military rule. However, the civilian government which followed in West Pakistan was dominated entirely by the feudal classes of Punjab and Sindh, which were still powerful in the absence of effective land reforms in this wing.

The PPP, being a populist party, used the rhetoric of the Left to disguise its reactionary nature for a while. But its actions served the interests of the class it represented. It destroyed Pakistan’s weak industrial bourgeoisie by mass nationalisation of industries, but sparing the foreign capital in Pakistan and any capital working in partnership with foreign capital. It thus promoted the compradorisation of the remaining capitalist class.

Its sham “land reforms” actually increased the individual land-holdings. And all this was done in the name of “socialism.” This must be the only instance where socialism strengthened the feudal class and the comprador bourgeoisie, while destroying the national bourgeoisie. The attack on the latter was motivated by a desire to safeguard the power of the feudal class. But it blocked all prospects of Pakistan’s independent economic development.

The feudal leadership did not touch the army, whose alliance with the now mainly commercial and comprador bourgeoisies remained intact. However, they were not important enough to afford it an adequate social base. So it allied itself with the feudal class, too, while retaining the fealty of the mauled bourgeoisies.

The feudal class can be a good and loyal partner for colonial rule. But it cannot be a viable neo-colonial partner for a foreign power, as its links with the world capitalist market are not vital for its existence. A neo-colonial partnership can be provided only by a comprador bourgeoisie. In the face of the weakness of this class, the US’s alliance with Pakistan was reduced to an alliance with the Pakistan army. This development was all the more easy because, from the beginning, our alliance was dominated by the political rather than the economic instance.

The economic instance of the alliance is provided by our close links with the IMF-WB-WTO trio. Under its tutelage, we sell off our vital industrial assets, decide to specialise in textiles, the most primitive stage of industry, without any ambition to produce textile machinery, and open our economic space to the rampaging rentier capital. Our economic policy consists of building passages for others’ goods instead of making those goods ourselves. Indeed, we must be the only major country to take the globalisation prattle seriously. The reason is the transformed nature of the state.

The role of the bureaucracies, specially that of the army, was progressive until the end of the sixties. It was truly bonapartist, in that the army stood in for the bourgeois class until the latter could wield power itself. The decisive mistake it made was not to carry out drastic and effective land reforms. If that had been done, the succeeding regime, emanating from the general elections, would have been bourgeois and carried the country forward. In the absence of such reforms, the elections brought a reactionary leadership, which actually threw the country back.

The People’s Party has now been selected by the US to provide a political cushion to the army in the fight against the Taliban. It interprets it to mean that the army would share power with it. But if power is shared, it would not be power. Only the government can be shared, and the benefits that it affords. So, one supposes, bargaining and pressure tactics can bring it an agreement on a division of benefits but not a share in power.The important point is that, in all these quarrels, in all these pressures and manoeuvres, no social question has been raised by either side. There is no talk about serious industrialisation of the country, about the regeneration of a strong national industrial bourgeoisie, about land reforms. Not a breath about re-distribution. The masses are again outside politics. There is emphasis only on human rights, which, since they do not include the right to eat, become, essentially, an upper middle-class fad.

If the masses wish to seize politics as its subjects and not just objects, they would have to wage the struggle which they missed while getting national independence.

US- Pakistan relations, anti-US sentiment

A Matter Of Perception

By Humair Ishtiaq


There appears to be a gulf between how the masses and their rulers perceive American intervention in our affairs

WHEN Samad Khurram recently turned down his Harvard scholarship as a mark of protest against the US strike on Pakistani territory, he basically wanted to underline the chasm that exists between the two divergent ways in which the rulers and the masses perceive American interference in our affairs.

That his decision was met with thunderous applause from the audience only shows the intensity of the prevailing anti-US sentiment as far as the Pakistani people are concerned.

When it comes to the leadership, however, it is an entirely different matter. Successive governments have failed to acknowledge the simple anthropological fact that in the event of an unnatural friendship between a tiger and a deer, the former will always call the shots. The ‘deer’ can have visions — illusions, if you like — of having some say in some affairs, but they will always be just illusions. The moment there is even a semblance of difference between the two, the writ of the latter becomes the destiny of the former. And yet, Pakistani leaders have continued to court Uncle Sam who has never believed in undertaking the guilt trip over being the designated global thug.

As recorded in history, the Quaid-i-Azam told Lord Ismay before Partition that Pakistan would have to ally itself with one of the superpowers. He enumerated three of them: the erstwhile Soviet Union, the United States and the Great Britain. He ruled out the first one immediately, and preferred the British over the Americans because “after all, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” Yet, recorded in history is the fact that a mere two weeks after independence, the government of Pakistan sounded out the US about lending a couple of million dollars. As expected, nothing came out of it.

The policies followed by those who followed the Quaid are also there in the record books. Declassified American papers, for instance, show Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, taking his two close aides — Ghulam Mustafa Khar and Hayat Sherpao — to meet the US ambassador at the time to assure him that their anti-US stance was basically for public consumption and there was nothing to be worried about. It is no wonder, then, that the politicians today believe that access to Islamabad is routed via Washington. Perhaps it does. Things being what they have been, who knows?

It is interesting to see what the other side — the tiger — has been doing all this while. A State Department memo to White House as far back as May, 1950, saw the potential of Pakistan “as a place from which US aircraft could operate.” This is almost exactly 58 years ago. Interesting, isn’t it? But there is more to it. After talking of the said potential, the memo hastened to add: “However, this should not be openly stressed since it negates our oft-expressed interest in helping the region for economic reasons.” Clear in mind. Cut-throat in approach. The tiger at its best.

During the 1971 crisis when the US openly condemned Indian movements across the border, President Nixon showed the true colour of American policy while discussing South Asia with his close aides. He showed great understanding of the Indian desire, saying that breaking up Pakistan is what he might to do if he were in New Delhi. The record of this meeting is dated August 11, 1971 — some four months before the fall of Dhaka, and, ironically, just five weeks — 34 days, to be precise — after Pakistan had facilitated Henry Kissinger’s historic trip to China!

Despite all this, and much more, being on record, the leadership in Pakistan — both civil and military — has, without fail been dazzled by the crumbs that Washington keeps throwing its way. In fact, things have only gone from bad to worse in terms of both arm-twisting and the blatant manner in which it is executed.

From times when the US ambassador would hold a discreet meeting with the leaders, things have come to such a pass that American officials of all denominations today openly visit the politicians, members of civil society, media organisations, even city government and water board offices. This only adds to the antipathy among the masses, but who cares? The American machinery in Pakistan certainly doesn’t.

Against this backdrop, what Samad Khurram did is indeed praiseworthy for he did it in the presence of the US ambassador which in itself takes a lot of doing in view of the fact that timidity, not defiance, is what the Americans expect of Pakistanis. As Madam Ambassador and her seniors would have realised, the leaders and the masses often represent two different — sometime divergent — entities.

Visits by US Presidents

Why Obama never visited Pak

Shailaja Neelakantan, Dec 4, 2016: The Times of India

"It's complicated", is the answer the White House press secretary gave to that question by the media, a day after US President-elect Donald Trump reportedly told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan is an "amazing country," according to a Pakistan government press release.

"The US relationship with Pakistan is one that's quite complicated, particularly when you consider our overlapping national security interests," said press secretary Josh Earnest. "The relations between our two countries, particularly over the last eight years, have not been smooth -- consistently smooth, particularly in the aftermath of the raid on Pakistani soil that President Obama ordered to take Osama bin Laden off the battlefield," Earnest added.

Compared to the frosty relations lately between Washington and Islamabad, US President-elect Trump appeared to exhibit a rare bonhomie with Pakistan PM Sharif, the Pakistan government said in a press release.

"On being invited to visit Pakistan by the Prime Minister, Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people," the press release by Pakistan's Press Information Department said.

Although the Trump transition team later played down the conversation, that's what prompted the media's questions on Obama and Pakistan. The White House press secretary said that "at one point in his presidency", Obama expressed a desire to travel to Pakistan. But, "for a variety of reasons, some of them relating to the complicated relationship between our two countries at certain times over the last eight years, President Obama was not able to realize that ambition."

Washington has been unhappy with what it sees as Islamabad's inaction against homegrown terror like the Haqqani network, Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed. In May this year, the US House of Representatives voted to increase restrictions on military aid for Pakistan. The House said it was frustrated over what it called Islamabad's failure to crack down on the Haqqani network.

Given this backdrop, the US President hasn't really found the right time to make a diplomatic visit to Pakistan. And not visiting, does send out a signal, just like visiting does. The White House press secretary acknowledged that too.

"One thing we do know is that it sends a powerful message to the people of a country when the President of the United States goes to visit. And that's true whether it's some of our closest allies, or that's also true if it's a country like Pakistan, with whom our relationship is somewhat more complicated," Earnest said.

He refused to comment on what US President-elect Trump's policy might be, except to say that the US State Department has always been a great help to any US President. "... ultimately, when President Trump begins planning his overseas travel, he'll have a range of places to consider, and Pakistan would certainly be one of them," Earnest said.

Nuclear bomb

‘Zia told Reagan Pak wouldn’t acquire N-bomb’

[ Omer Farooq Khan, Zia told Ronald Reagan Pakistan wouldn’t acquire nuclear bomb, reveal documents, Jan 27, 2017: The Times of India]


CIA has made public a July 5, 1982 letter of former Pak Prez Gen Zia-ul-Haq written to the then US Prez Ronald Reagan

That was in reply to a letter from Reagan, in which he expressed concern about Pak’s clandestine N-project

Zia wrote back that Pak’s nuke programme was designed for peaceful purposes

The documents made public by CIA include a letter to former US President Ronald Reagan from the then Pakistan President, General Zia-ul-Haq, assuring him Pakistan would not build nuclear weapons.

The July 5, 1982 letter was in reply to a communication from Reagan, sent through US envoy Vernon Walters, in which he expressed concern about Pakistan's clandestine nuclear project. "It's saddening that Vernon Walters told me that the US had certified information about Pakistan's plan to acquire nuclear weapons," Zia replied. The letter quoted him telling Reagan that all such information was baseless and that Pakistan would never take a step in the nuclear arena that would affect American interests and bring it shame. He wrote that Pakistan's nuclear programme was designed for peaceful purposes. Despite all these assurances, it is commonly believed that Pakistan had built its atom bomb during Zia's regime.

Another declassified file was a CIA report examining Pakistan-US ties against the backdrop of India-USSR relations. "Pakistan is likely to continue basically pro-Western, despite annoyance at the US part in the UN handling of Kashmir and at the US position on North Africa in the UN," the document said. According to a side note on the same document, Pakistan's pro-Western orientation stemmed from fear of India and USSR rather than any basic sympathy with capitalism or Christian civilisation. "It is more negative than positive," it observed. Another handwritten note on the document said, "Pakistan is not likely to align itself firmly with the West except in exchange for substantial benefits." Other documents include: Indo-Pak friction, Pakistan's nuclear programme development, Zia-ul-Haq's decision on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's execution.

Petraeus precedent gets Raphel reprieve

The Times of India, Oct 12 2015

Matt Apuzzo, Mark Mazzettti & Michael S Schmidt

Case against US ex-envoy `spying' for Pak falls apart

Last fall, US federal agents raided the home and office of Robin L Raphel in search of proof that she, a seasoned member of America's diplomatic corps, was spying for Pakistan. But officials now say the spying investigation has all but fizzled, leaving the justice department to decide whether to prosecute Raphel for the far less serious charge of keeping classified information in her home. The fallout from the investigation has in the meantime seriously damaged Raphel's reputation, built over decades in some of the world's most volatile countries. If the justice department declines to file spying charges, as several officials said they expected, it will be the latest example of American law enforcement agencies bringing an espionage investigation into the public eye, only to see it dissipate under further scrutiny .

Last month, the justice department dropped charges against a Temple University physicist who had been accused of sharing sensitive information with China.

In May , prosecutors dropped all charges against a government hydrologist who had been under investigation for espionage. Raphel, in negotiations with the government, has rejected plea deals and has been adamant that she face no charges, according to current and former government officials, particularly because the justice department has been criticised in recent years for handing out inconsistent punishments to American officials who mishandle classified information. Both the justice department and a lawyer for Raphel, Amy Jeffress, declined to comment.

The Raphel case has also been caught in the crosswinds of America's tempestuous relationship with Pakistan. Raphel has for decades been at the center of shaping American policy toward Pakistan, and she has maintained close ties to Pakistani officials even as many of her colleagues became disenchanted with what they saw as Islamabad's duplicity in the fight against terrorism.

In discussions with prosecutors, according to several government officials, Raphel and her lawyer have cited the Petraeus case as the vital precedent. If passing secrets -including notes on war strategy and the names of covert officers, which Petraeus shared -and lying about it amount to a misdemeanor, then, Raphel says, she should not face any charges.


F-16 jets

2019/ US approves sales to support Pakistan's F-16 jets

US approves sales to support Pak's F-16 fighter jets for 24x7 end-use monitoring, July 27, 2019: The Times of India

WASHINGTON: Days after the meeting between President Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Pentagon notified the Congress of its decision to approve military sales worth USD 125 million that would result in 24x7 end-use monitoring of the F-16 fighter jets of Pakistan.

US officials asserted that the freeze in security assistance to Pakistan on Trump's direction since January 2018 was still in place and the latest decision would help it in 24x7 end-use monitoring of the F-16 fighter jets in that country as this would require the assignment of 60 contractor representatives there to assist in the oversight of the F-16 programme.

"There has been no change to the security assistance suspension announced by the president in January 2018. As the president reiterated this week, we could consider the restoration of certain security assistance programmes consistent with the broader tenor of our relationship," a state department spokesperson told PTI.

He referred to the notification sent in this regard by the Pentagon to the Congress on Friday.

"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by protecting American technology through the continued presence of US personnel that provide 24x7 end-use monitoring," he said.

"The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for Technical Security Team (TST) in continued support of the F-16 program for an estimated cost of USD 125 million," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

The Pentagon delivered the required certification notifying the Congress of this possible sale on Friday.

According to the statement, Pakistan had requested a continuation of technical support services -- US government and contractor technical and logistics support services -- and other related elements of logistics support to assist in the oversight of operations in support of the Pakistan Peace Drive advanced F-16 programme.

Pakistan has used the F-16 fighter jets against India, the latest being in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrike inside Pakistan by India. In its notification, the Pentagon asserted that the proposed sale of this support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

"Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 60 contractor representatives to Pakistan to assist in the oversight of operations as part of the Peace Drive F-16 program," the statement said.

According to F-16.Net, the aircraft order by Pakistan was designated as "Peace Drive I", continuing with a long tradition of naming the F-16 international sales programmes with the word "Peace".

The programme raised the total number of F-16s ordered by Pakistan to 54. The Pakistan Air Force received its first F-16, in the block 15 F-16A/B configuration, in 1982. The country has been operating the Lockheed Martin aircraft since 1963, when it received C-130B airlifters.

The "Peace Drive I" order was for 12 F-16Cs and six F-16Ds, all powered by the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine.

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