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Home > News > Report

BJP blames Centre for allowing F-16 sale to Pakistan

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 29, 2005 20:19 IST
Last Updated: March 30, 2005 00:56 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh said the Centre'slack of assertiveness allowed sale of US F-16s to Pakistan.

Addressing a news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday,the former external affairs ministersaid that though the decision to sell F-16 was taken during the National Democratic Alliance government tenure, the US administration refrained from transferring the aircraft to Pakistan because of the strong stand taken by India then.

No deal with Pakistan: Rice

"We have Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's statementthat the government still does not know what India has been offered to match the sale of F-16s to Pakistan. I am afraid this confirms my fears that our government has not been able to put up our stand strongly," he said.

He asked the government to clarify what the Prime Minister's Office meant whenit said that thePM expressed great disappointment aboutthe deal to President Bush ina telephonic conversation.

The Pakistan deal saved 5,000 US jobs

"Pakistan's F-16 agreement with the US in 80's was held in abeyance by the successive US governmentsmainly on grounds of weapons proliferation and promotion of terrorismby Pakistan," he said.

He expressed shock ata statement made by Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice that US had agreed to release the F-16 aircraft because of improvement in relations between India and Pakistan.

'9/11 panel's nod facilitated deal'

"I am surprised by her statement. Just because relations between India and Pakistan are improving does not mean that you can start an arms race in the Indian subcontinent," he said.

Jaswant Singh also questioned Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf's planned visit to New Delhiin Aprilin view of the fact that the Pakistan president had been making provocative statements on Kashmir everyday.

"Thereis still about a fortnight to go before he arrives in Delhi to see a match between India and Pakistan. I am afraid hewill use the intervening time to make more statements on Kashmir. I have my own apprehensions about the real motives of his visit," he said.

He denied that his statements on the US were coloured bythe denial of visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

BJP president Lal Kishenchand Advani said the United States must clarify why it is implementing its agreement to supply F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan after 15 years.

The F-16 issue is not a recent one. The US did not implement the agreement in the last 15 years. "Why then is it doing now? They must tell the world," he told reporters at Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.

With PTI inputs

More reports from Delhi
Read about: Assembly Election 2003 | Attack on Parliament

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Number of User Comments: 3


What left parties say on this. They are puppets in the hand of Congress.

Posted by KSR

Sub: Why can't we stop F16 sale even now? Its never too late!

I urge Indians to get more proactive and protest sale of F16s to Pakistan. This is serious security threat to the nation and its citizens. ...

Posted by Chander

Sub: Centre allows sale

Whey are you pestering yourself. LEt the centre allow and let them have all the sale. The more you or India gets annoyed with the ...

Posted by mukapadya



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