Pakistan says it needs F-16s from US for counterterror ops

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Pakistan says the U.S. sale of F-16 fighter jets would strengthen its ability to mount counterterrorist operations and promote regional stability.

The U.S. government this month approved the sale of the aircraft, radar and electronic warfare equipment to Pakistan in a deal worth nearly $700 million.

Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz (sahr-TAHJ' ah-ZEEZ') spoke of the proposed sale at Monday's opening of a U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, did not.

Kerry welcomed Pakistan's commitment not to differentiate among terrorist groups. He said groups like the Haqqani (hah-KAH'-nee) network and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LAHSH'-kar ee TOY'-buh) seek to undermine Pakistan's relations with its neighbors.

Neighboring India opposes the sale, which has also drawn criticism in the U.S. Congress. Lawmakers could block the deal, although such action is rare.