posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 07:12 PM
During his visit to the United States, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf discussed the purchase of F-16 fighter jets with president Bush. However,
it is unclear if any decision was made at the meeting regarding the purchase. Any sales will be closely followed by India who has expressed an
interest in purchasing the Patriot air defense system.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he discussed with US President George W. Bush a potential purchase of US F-16 fighter
jets to upgrade the defense capability of his country.
"We discussed the F-16 issue," Musharraf told reporters outside the White House after his meeting with the US leader.
"That is all I would like to say, thank you," he added in a terse comment when asked about the prospective US sale of the fighter jets.
Musharraf, a key ally in Bush's "war on terror," did not say whether any decision was made at the meeting.
Bush, speaking in the Oval Office along Musharraf, said the United States wanted to work closely with Pakistan in the defense arena as part of an
overall relationship covering joint efforts to battle terrorism, improve trade and resolve the Middle East conflict.
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Musharraf has more or less played ball with the United States in the war on terrorism, and now perhaps he feels he has some political capital of his
own to wield. Pakistan was in line to purchase the F-16, but its tit for tat nuclear test with India, doomed the purchase. Their main rival the Indian
Air Force is clearly surperior at this point, however, the purchase of the F-16 would help a bit towards evening things out. A lot more would be
requred mind you, but itís a start.