Pakistan is not restricted to use F-16 fighter jets against any nation other than the United States and its NATO allies, the Express Tribune reported Tuesday.
Concerns had been raised whether Pakistan can use F-16s against India after the recent skirmish between the two countries, but Pakistani armed forces are "fully authorized" to use the aircraft against India, according to tweet posted by a user, Xulqi Moon.
Pakistan Air Force (PAN) has F-16s in service since 1983. Its conditions of end user agreement as for many other buyers include non-use against US and NATO members and non-supply/sharing technology with US/NATO adversaries. Pakistan can use them against anyone if needed to defend, according to Moon.
In 2005, after the 9/11 attack, Pakistan signed a deal to acquire F-16s from the US under a condition that the country fights terrorism – without any mention of restriction to use against India.
However, it did not compel Pakistan to use the aircraft against terrorists only, contrary to the reports that emerged after the aerial dogfight.
According to a report by Daily Pakistan, the US is desperate to get a $15 billion deal from India for 110 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 jets, and this is the reason behind the public outcry.
In 2008, the US said the reason behind the sale of jets to Pak is to counter terrorism, and to also holdback Pak in its squabble against India in the years to come. The US assured that a stringent monitoring system on the use and deployment of F-16s would be in place, according to an ET report published today.
"The F-16 sale to Pakistan is not only to combat terrorism, but to also provide a deterrence value to Pakistan in case of a future conflict with India," the then US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson.
She requested for an exception to allow for diversion of American counter-terrorism financial assistance to Pak to acquire F-16s and related enhancements.
The package included 500 AIM-120-C5 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs), remnants of one of which was recovered and exhibited as a "conclusive" evidence by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to prove usage of the jet.