F-16 deal among Pakistan and US may be delayed

Pakistan may delay a deal to buy F-16 fighters jets from the United States because of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people, Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Jehangir Karamat, told. However, he denied reports that Pakistan was reconsidering the deal.

"Right now, the earthquake is our first priority, but there’s no question of reconsidering the deal," said Karamat, who is also a former chief of the Pakistan Army.

He said President Bush and the US government were committed to the deal and the US administration had already sent an informal notification to Congress about the deal. “So how can we reconsider the deal? Just the timing may be delayed,” said Karamat.

A US official also confirmed Karamat’s position on the F-16 deal, saying that Pakistan had requested a delay. Meanwhile, the White House also delayed a public-private partnership of major US corporations that was to be launched on Tuesday, the AP reports.


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