February 15, 2010 2:48:41 pm
Pakistan is looking up to the US to help it match India’s plans to spend USD 100 billion on weapons systems in the coming years to modernise its military,the country’s Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani has said.
He said Pakistan has also started negotiating with the US for an agreement on nuclear technology on the lines of the deal Washington had signed with India and others.
“India is our main concern as it is buying weapons worth USD 100 billion from five countries and to balance this,we will have to depend on the US. India has 5,500 tanks and there is a question against whom they will be used,” Haqqani told a group of journalists at the Governor’s House here late last night.
“We cannot be assured by statements from the other side of the border that India will not wage a war against us,” the diplomat said.
Pakistan will get another batch of 16 F-16 fighter aircraft in June,Haqqani said.
On nuclear technology,he said: “The US is not sceptical about our nuclear programme. The talks between Pakistan and the US for cooperation on the atomic programmes are underway.
“And we want the US to have an agreement with us like the one it had with India on civil nuclear technology.”
Explaining why Pakistan has to look up to the US for enhancing its military capacity and capability,he said European countries offered no soft terms for selling weapons to the country.
“We have to largely depend on the US for defence-related matters,” he said.
“We have also sought drone technology from the US. On the one hand our innocent people are losing their lives and on the other,Taliban leaders like Baitullah Mehsud get killed in drone attacks,” he said.
Haqqani said Islamabad had also made it clear to Washington that it should ensure a strengthened and Pakistan-friendly regime in Kabul before US forces left the neighbouring country.
“Ties with the US are important for a secure,stable and prosperous Pakistan,” he said.
Though the expectations of Pakistan and the US may not be the same,both are indispensable for each other,he said.
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