March 27, 2005


F-16 deal: S. Asia's new arms race?: Pakistan got its long-waited US jet sale Friday. But India also got a green light for US weapons. (Owais Tohid, 3/28/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

In a move seen as rewarding Pakistan as a key ally in its war on terror, the United States agreed Friday to sell the South Asian nation F-16 fighter jets - reversing a 15-year ban.

Bush administration officials simultaneously announced that India would have the opportunity to buy some of the latest American combat aircraft.

The steps are seen as politically bolstering Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at home, and indicate a shift in US policy toward a tacit acceptance of Pakistan and India as nuclear powers, analysts say.

"It will help Musharraf counter the religious extremists who used to taunt that America is not trustworthy as it had walked off after first Afghan War and may change the perception of common man [toward the US] as well," says analyst Tauseef Ahmed.

...except al Qaeda, France and China.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 27, 2005 6:41 PM
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