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India has 'no problems' over Pakistan-US UAVs deal: IAF

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UAV RQ-7B, or the Shadow 200.

BANGALORE (PTI): India has "no problems" over the supply of 12 drones to Pakistan by the US as long as these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are used in the fight against Taliban militants, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said on Friday.

"So long as they are for (the fight against) Taliban, we have no problems", he told reporters who sought his reaction to reports that the US would supply Pakistan with 12 unarmed Shadow drones, which would significantly enhance the country's surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

The decision to supply 12 RQ-7 Shadow Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) to Pakistan to help its military fight Taliban was announced by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates during his visit to that country this week.

Asked if the US decision would affect the military balance in the region, the Air Chief Marshal said: "No, not at all".

Queried if Pakistan would share the technology with China, he said he did not know. "You tell me", he shot back. "How can I think of somebody else? What do you all feel? They will share or not share? I am not an authority on Pakistan psyche", Naik added.

Earlier, delivering the Air Chief Marshal L M Katre Memorial Lecture, Naik said India is faced with a full spectrum of conflicts and therefore needed to move to a realistic, flexible and capability based defence approach from the threat and adversary-based one.

He also stressed the need for protecting India's space assets in the backdrop of China developing anti-Satellite (ASAT) weapons and pushed for building the country's military space capabilities.

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