After accusing it of
not doing enough on terror and illegally exporting nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, the United States will arm Pakistan with the latest conventional weapons apart from the pre-announced F-16 fighter aircraft.
US-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group reviewed the defense material requests from Pakistan and decided to deliver latest conventional weapons systems so Pakistan can fight terror better. Pakistan has scaled down its plans to buy 77 F-16s and instead asked for 25-second hand planes. The two countries will also hold military exercises in 2007.
Pakistan Defense Secretary Tariq Ghazi said that the two countries also discussed the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal and expressed “reservations” on aspects of the underlying concept that de-hyphenates India and Pakistan. He said his country felt that such de-hyphenation might alter the balance of power that could lead to an arms race. Interestingly he also said that Pakistan objected to leaving some facilities outside the ambit of International safeguards, as there is a chance of proliferation of fissile material from those locations.
Pakistan has been caught proliferating by transferring sophisticated nuclear enrichment technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea. The recent presentation by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raised alarms that disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist may have transferred next generation P2-centrifuges to Iran and that the relationship could have been deeper. Surprisingly, the US has accepted the Pakistani word that the state was not involved in the transfer of such sensitive and potent information and technology.