‘Scaled-Down Package of F-16s to Be Purchased’

Washington: Pakistan has agreed to purchase a greatly scaled down package of American F-16 fighters after foregoing a larger purchase to finance relief efforts in last year’s earthquake, officials said on Thursday.
Pakistani Foreign Secretary Riaz Khan and US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said after a round of talks they had agreed to proceed with the sale but would not provide the number of aircraft.
Mr Khan said it was “a much scaled-down request” from the package under consideration last year that reportedly included 25 new aircraft at around 25 million dollars apiece.
“In view of the constraints that we have on resources, we have now a far less ambitious package which is a mix of some old, used aircraft and some new,” he told a joint news conference.
Mr Burns said he reassured Khan “that we are committed to the sale of American F-16 aircraft to Pakistan and we intend to begin our consultations on this issue with Congress shortly.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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