Pakistan to purchase American F-16s
Pakistan also okayed the purchase from China of a batch of FC-10 fighters and some JF-17 thunder jets.india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 15:35 IST
Pakistan has approved the purchase of an unspecified number of F-16s fighter jets from the United States, a cabinet minister said on Thursday.
"The federal cabinet on Wednesday allowed the purchase of F-16 aircraft from the United States," Information Minister Sheikh Rashid said.
It also okayed the purchase from China of a batch of FC-10 fighters and some JF-17 thunder jets being jointly built by Pakistan and China, Rashid said.
The amount of jets and the cost of the deals were not disclosed.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf delayed the purchase in November last year following the devastating earthquake which killed more than 73,000 people.
Washington approved the sale of the F-16s to key "war on terror" ally Pakistan in March 2005 after blocking it for 15 years to protest the country's nuclear weapons programme.
India says the US sale of sophisticated jets to Pakistan -- with which it has fought three wars since independence in 1947 -- would upset the military balance in the region and cast a shadow over the slow peace dialogue.