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US wants Pak to have dialogue with neighbours

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The United States wants Pakistan to have dialogue with its neighbours to resolve differences, a top State Department official has said underlining that the country’s ties in the region have seen “some ups and downs”.

“We do believe, frankly, that Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours and with the region – frankly, there’s been some ups and downs, but we believe it’s trending towards greater dialogue to resolve differences. We want to see that continue,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.

Responding to a question on the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, Toner said in these arms transfers, the US takes into account regional security and “a range of other factors.”

“We believe our security assistance does contribute to a more stable and secure Pakistan and region,” he told reporters.

“We believe the F-16s are the right platform to support Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts, and have been a part of the successful pushback or in past operations against some of the militant groups that are active in Pakistan,” Toner said.

The US is not able to sell eight F-16s to Pakistan under a military grant because of a hold on it in the Senate.

Lawmakers want Pakistan to take action against the dreaded Haqqani network, for use of any taxpayers’ money towards the sale of the F-16s to Pakistan.

“Key members of Congress have been clear they are not prepared to support FMF for the F-16s absent some specific actions. I would direct you to them for anything further on their position,” a State Department spokesman said.

PTI

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