WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement regarding his vote to permit Pakistan’s purchase of F-16 aircraft from the United States. In a procedural vote today, the Senate prevented a resolution that would block the sale from advancing.
“I continue to oppose any taxpayer dollars being used at this time to support this sale given that Pakistan is providing safe haven to terrorist groups and refusing to target the Haqqani network, which attacks U.S. troops and threatens the future of Afghanistan,” said Corker. “Prohibiting a taxpayer subsidy sends a much-needed message to Pakistan that it needs to change its behavior, but preventing the purchase of U.S. aircraft would do more harm than good by paving the way for countries like Russia and China to sell to Pakistan while also inhibiting greater cooperation on counterterrorism.”
In February, Corker announced in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that he would use his authority as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to oppose any U.S. financing that would support Pakistan’s purchase of the F-16s.