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'Pak built up army against India with military aid

'Pak built up army against India with military aid

Author: PTI
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: June 6, 2009

Pakistan has used a substantial amount of military aid from the US meant to fight terrorism to build up its army with modern weapons and equipment for a conventional warfare against India, Pentagon documents have revealed.

All this was done with the knowledge of the then Bush Administration, which not only provided USD 1.9 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) but also signed agreements with Pakistan for military sales worth nearly USD 5 billion during the period, showed the documents accessed by PTI.

The Pentagon documents also revealed that a major post-9/11 American defence supply to Pakistan under FMF had nothing to do with its fight against terrorism.

While the Taliban and al-Qaeda gained ground in the tribal areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, Islamabad bought eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment worth USD 474 million. It also placed orders for 5,250 TOW anti-armour missiles worth USD 186 million. 2,007 of these have already been delivered and the rest are in the process of being supplied.

Besides buying more than 5,600 military radio sets worth USD 163 million, Pakistan bought six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars worth USD 100 million and six C-130E transport aircraft and their refurbishment worth USD 76 million. Under the Excess Defence Articles (EDA), it was granted 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters, which were then refurbished, according to the Pentagon documents.

Pakistan also used a substantial chunk of America's FMF to purchase up to 60 mid-life update kits for F-16 A/B combat aircraft valued at USD 891 million. Of this, it paid USD 477 million from the FMF funds given by the United States.

Similarly, of the USD 87 million worth order for 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers, it paid USD 53 million from FMF. And all this happened while Pakistan's economic situation deteriorated.

Islamabad also paid a whopping USD 1.43 billion to the US to purchase 18 new F-16 combat aircraft and another USD 629 million for F-16 armaments.

Prominent among these are 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500 JDAM tail Kits for gravity bombs and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits, also for gravity bombs. F-16 has not been delivered to date.

Pakistan also paid USD 298 million for 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles; USD 95 million for 500 sidewinder air-to-air missiles and USD 80 million for six Phalanx close-in-naval guns.

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