|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Pak to decide on F-16s after quake rebuilding estimates
December 21, 2005 16:10 IST
Pakistan will take a final decision on the purchase of F-16 aircrafts by 2006 after studying the needs for reconstruction of quake-devastated areas and international assistance it had received.
The government would complete assessment (of the post-quake situation) by 2006 and then take a final decision (on F16s), Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri told reporters Tuesday at Chaklala air base after seeing off US Vice-President Dick Cheney.
The assessment would take into account expected expenditures on reconstruction and rehabilitation of the quake-affected areas and the international assistance the country received, he was quoted as saying by the state-run APP news agency.
Kasuri said only then the country would decide about the number of the fighter jets it would acquire and when.
He said Pakistan could not ignore its defence requirements, but due to the October 8 earthquake, it did not enter the deal for F-16 aircraft as the provision of relief was priority for the government.
Commenting on Cheney's visit to Pakistan, he said though it was a short visit, it was reflective of strong Pakistan-US ties adding, during his visit, the American vice-president discussed with President Pervez Musharraf bilateral ties and matters of mutual cooperation, besides exchanging views on regional and international issues.
He said Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir and composite dialogue between Pakistan and India were also discussed during the meeting.