Pakistan on Monday said it was ready to assure the US it would not pass on to any third country the technology of F-16 fighter jets, which Washington plans to sell it, after a lawmaker asked Bush Administration to get guarantees against any such transfers to China.
"This is a standard clause in all defence agreements that such technology would not be transferred to a third country. We are ready to look at appropriate language for such assurance," Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said when asked about fears expressed by Congressman Joseph Crowley that Pakistan may supply the F-16 technology to China.
Asked about the possibility that the deal may get stuck in US Congress, Aslam said, "The US administration has assured us that they would make their best efforts to ensure that it is approved by the Congress and that they live up to their commitments."
Bush Administration has approached US Congress for approving a $5 billion deal to sell 18 latest F-16s with a provision to sell 18 more along with a support package for up to 26 used F-16s. The deal also includes a package to sell munitions and upgradation of Pakistan's fleet of 34 F-16s as also provide logistical support.
Crowley, a New York Democrat, had said that there should be guarantees to ensure that no technological transfer would take place to China through Pakistan.
"I have deep concerns about the process or lack thereof, which the Bush Administration used to inform Congress about pending sale of F-16s to Pakistan. The administration has shown time and time again that they are not interested in congressional oversight on sensitive deals," he was quoted in the media as saying.