Pakistan and USA To Strike Major Deal

The USA stopped delivering arms to Pakistan in 1990

The event, which is going to affect the political situation in South and Central Asia, is apparently going to happen soon. For the first time in 13 years, a large transaction between the USA and Pakistan is likely to take place. Islamabad is asking for defense technology from Washington. The contract is evaluated in nine billion dollars. The transaction is very impressive indeed. However, the USA stopped arms deliveries to Pakistan in 1990 because of concerns about Pakistan's nuclear program.

RIA Novosti reported with reference to the Pakistani newspaper The News, Islamabad had already made up the list of the defense technology, equipment and spare parts to purchase. A military delegation chaired by Defence Secretary Lt Gen Hamid Nawaz is to arrive to Washington next week to discuss the issue. Within the scope of the visit, Nawaz will visit the Pentagon and meet US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

According to The News, Pakistani officials will ask the US administration to sell up to 40 F-16 pursuit planes to Islamabad, as well as spare parts for Pakistani planes. The defense technology list includes missiles, radars, night vision devices and other military equipment. The two sides will discuss the program to train Pakistani officers at American military schools, the plans to conduct joint military exercises.

Supposedly, the delegations will pay special attention to the issue of further anti-terrorist cooperation. Pakistan has been asking to lift the embargo for several years. Until recently, Washington preferred not to hurry in this respect. First of all, Pakistan continued working on the nuclear program. Secondly, arms deliveries to Pakistan would provoke a harsh reaction from India. The relations between India and Pakistan have improved recently, but not to the extent to make Delhi turn a blind eye on arms deliveries to Pakistan. Finally, the USA was accusing Pakistan of the insufficient struggle with terrorist organizations. The Pakistani special services have been cooperating with the American ones since the very beginning of the USA's military operation in Afghanistan, although it was not enough to convince Washington to cancel the arms deliveries embargo. In its turn, Pakistan was very unhappy with the USA delivering arms to India. In addition, Islamabad strongly rejected all accusations of inaction as far as terrorist groups were concerned.

All those problems remain unsolved still. However, the USA is apparently ready to resume the arms export to Pakistan. The explanation is very simple - Iraq. The American administration has been offering Pakistan to send their military men to Iraq for months. Islamabad has not expressed any enthusiasm on the issue yet. If the question with arms deliveries is finally settled, one will not have to wait long for Pakistani soldiers to appear in Iraq.

Author`s name Olga Savka