US sold $4.5 bn worth arms to Pak in three years
The United States sold arms worth $4.5 billion to Pakistan between 2005 and 2008, says a Congressional report even as Washington has expressed concern about reported diversion of military equipment away from the war on terrorism to fight India.world Updated: Sep 17, 2009 21:52 IST
The United States sold arms worth $4.5 billion to Pakistan between 2005 and 2008, says a Congressional report even as Washington has expressed concern about reported diversion of military equipment away from the war on terrorism to fight India.
An updated Congressional report released last month says Washington signed arms transfer agreements with Pakistan in excess of $3.5 billion in the year 2006 alone, "ranking Pakistan first among all arms clients of the United States during that calendar year".
Last week, former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf confessed that bulk of US military aid to Pakistan had been diverted for fighting India. However, he later backed out as Washington expressed concern.
A State Department official said the US will "take seriously any allegations like this", noting that a former president had made these claims. "But simply we don't have the details to be able to respond to these allegations."
According to the report, the total value of Pakistan's arms purchases from the US in 2006 nearly matches the total value of all Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme purchases by Pakistan from the US for the period from 1950-2001 (more than $3.6 billion in current dollars value).
The report lists the key elements in Pakistan's arms purchases from the US as follows: 36 F-16C/D Block 50/52 fighter aircraft for $1.4 billion; a variety of missiles and bombs to be utilised on the F-16 C/D fighter aircraft for over $640 million; the purchase of Mid-Life Update Modification Kits to upgrade Pakistan's F-16A/B aircraft for $890 million; and 115 M109A5 155mm self-propelled howitzers for $52 million.
The "rise of Pakistan to its new status as a major arms purchaser from the United States is particularly noteworthy given the difficulties the US has had with Pakistan since the 1970s over its successful effort to produce nuclear weapons," observes the Aug 24 Congressional report for US lawmakers and their staffers.