Friday, October 24, 2003

No offense

The US is now, and has been for some time, refusing to sell Pakistan "offensive" weapons:

Notwithstanding Pakistan's support to the fight against terrorism, United States has refused to sell any "offensive" weapons systems to Islamabad fearing that this would upset India and might fuel arms race in the region, a local daily quoting officials in Washington reported on Friday.

"Only the sale of Hawk Eye radar system is under consideration for Pakistan. The US cannot give any offensive weapons system to Pakistan and the Hawk Eye can only be used for defensive purposes," The Nation quoted the officials as saying.

Pakistan, being a "close US ally", had sought Washington's help to upgrade its ageing weaponry which would help improve the conventional balance vis-à-vis India, but the US has given a cold shoulder, the report, which followed the high level talks between the defence officials of the two countries, said.

The US has turned down a long weapons list forwarded by Pakistan, it said adding that the United States on the other hand "wooed" India to start buying American weapons.

Bush administration was lobbying with India because arms sale contracts would give boost to US weapons industry, it said.


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