Despite mounting opposition from influential lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties, the US State Department notified the Congress that it has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Pakistan for F-16 Block 52 Aircraft, equipment, training, and logistics support.

The estimated cost is USD 699.4 million, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency – a wing of the Pentagon - said in a statement, adding that this proposed sale contributes to the US foreign policy objectives and national security goals by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia.

Asserting that this will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the Pentagon said the proposed sale improves Pakistan's capability to meet current and future security threats.

These additional F-16 aircraft will facilitate operations in all-weather, non-daylight environments, provide a self-defence/area suppression capability, and enhance Pakistan's ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

"This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded," said the Defence Security Cooperation Agency.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a State Department official defended the decisions of the US Government.

Read more: India expresses displeasure over US decision to sell fighter jets to Pakistan

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