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Pak army gets first consignment of 80 Chinese-origin tanks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Feb 26, IRNA - Pakistan Army on Thursday was handed over 
the first consignment of eighty upgraded Al-Zarar tanks of Chinese 
origin to meet its operational needs. 
The production of first batch of Al-Zarar tank, upgraded from the 
old T-59 Chinese origin tank to meet the operational requirements of 
Pakistan Army, has recently been completed at Heavy Industries Taxila.
Officials said Al-Zarar is the most cost-effective tank. It falls 
into the category of a medium-weight main battle tanks. 
"No other tank in this weight is equipped with the lethal 125 mm 
smooth bore main gun. It is capable of accurately engaging all types 
of targets during all-weather day and night operations," an army 
official told IRNA. 
Speaking at a ceremony at Heavy Industry Taxila, President General 
Pervez Musharraf said security and integrity of the country will never
be compromised. 
"Minimum deterrence will be maintained in the conventional and 
unconventional fields," he said. 
"We do not want to involve ourselves in any arms race," he added, 
"but minimum deterrence will be ensured for our security". 
General Musharraf said the Al-Zarar project, which has been 
completed with the Chinese technical assistance, symbolizes very close
cooperation with Islamabad`s time-tested and great friend China. 
"It is a shining example of friendship between the two countries." 
The Pakistani president said Islamabad remains very aware of the 
"debilitating" effects of the sanctions in the past. 
"We follow a very cost effective and affordable solution which is 
the hallmark of our military development. The strategy of minimum 
deterrence in conventional and unconventional fields is a very cost 
effective concept." 
He said that with the induction of modern tanks, Pakistan army 
will be one of the best forces in the world. 
In the ceremony, 20 Mohafiz security vehicles were also handed over
to Pakistan Police. These vehicles are produced at almost half the 
international cost of similar vehicles, giving Pakistan 
self-sufficiency in such vital equipment under the prevailing global 
security environments. 

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