Washington, Mar 11: Top American lawmakers on Thursday expressed their strong opposition to the proposed sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, as the Senate started a debate on the Obama Administration’s move, which has been opposed by India.Also Read - COVID Restrictions in These 10 States of India For Domestic Travellers, Read On

The rare such debate was started by Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, who said the US does not have the money “to give planes free” to Pakistan while the country is crumbling under a foreign debt of USD 19 trillion. “We do not have the money to give to Pakistan,” said Paul starting the debate on the proposed sale of F-16 jets to Pakistan. Also Read - 6 Places in India Where You Can Find Egyptian Mummies, History Enthusiast or Not!

The former Republican presidential candidate has introduced a joint resolution in the Congress against the sale of F-16 jets to Pakistan. While the sale of F-16 planes is likely to be approved by the Senate given that the lawmakers in the past have rarely prevented the US Government from going ahead with an arms sale, the debate reflected the growing anti-Pakistan sentiment in the Congress. (ALSO READ: India disappointed over US decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan) Also Read - Republic Day 2022: PM Narendra Modi's Personal Message to Chris Gayle On India's 73rd Republic Day

“Should we give planes to a country who prison our heroes,” Paul said, referring to the imprisonment of Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani-African doctor, who is imprisonment on charges of helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden.

Several lawmakers were expected to speak at the debate at the end of which Paul has called for a voting. The debate and voting comes a day after top Pentagon commanders appealed to lawmakers against restricting or conditioning US aid to Pakistan. India has opposed the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets worth approximately USD 700 million to Pakistan, saying it disagrees with Washington’s rationale that such arms transfers would help combat terrorism.