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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan receives two F-16s fighter planes: official

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec 13, IRNA
Pakistan-US Fighter Planes
Pakistan on Tuesday received two F-16s fighter jets from the United States, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) announced here.

The two F-16s provided by United States of America have arrived in Pakistan, Tuesday, a PAF statement said.

President Pervez Musharraf said on November 4 that Pakistan would postpone the purchase of the jets from the US to focus on quake relief and rehabilitation work.

Pakistan and the United States later reached an understanding which allows Islamabad to temporarily delay a deal to purchase F-16 fighter jets.

It is not clear whether the arrival of the two F-16 planes was part of some 70 F-16 planes, Pakistan had earlier planned to get from the United States.

These F-16s are of the same category, which are already operating with Pakistan Air Force, the PAF statement said.

The purchase of these F-16s from USA was finalized a few months ago, the statement added.

Pakistan had requested a purchase of F-16s back in the mid-1980s, but the United States barred the sale of the planes in 1990 after suspicions mounted that Pakistan was clandestinely producing a nuclear weapon.

Pakistan's testing of its nuclear weapon in May 1998 changed the complexion of the legislation that banned the United States from sending military aid to Pakistan unless the US president certified that Pakistan had no nuclear weapons.

The go-ahead by the Bush administration in March to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan was seen as a reward for Musharraf's cooperation in the fight against terror.

The news that the White House had lifted the restriction on the sale of the fighter jets earlier this year was met with euphoria in Pakistan and was dubbed as a success story by the media.

The Bush administration had said earlier that it was Pakistan's prerogative to move forward with the three billion dollar fighter jet purchase.

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