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Slow down in US arms sales to Pak

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A file photo.

WASHINGTON (PTI): Low ebb in bilateral relationship has slowed the pace of transfer and deliveries of America's arms sales to Pakistan, a latest Congressional report has said, according to which Islamabad since 2001 has received USD 7.9 billion worth of military equipment from the United States.

Given that a significantly large number of these are conventional weapons, which strengthens Indian argument that US military sales to Pakistan are not to fight terrorism but this is something which would be used against India.

In its latest report, the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) informs US lawmakers that major US arms sales and grants to Pakistan since 2001 have included items useful for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, along with a number of big ticket platforms more suited to conventional warfare.

"In dollar value terms, the bulk of purchases have been made with Pakistani national funds, but US grants have eclipsed these in recent years," said the CRS, which is an independent research wing of the US Congress.

The Pentagon reports total Foreign Military Sales agreements with Pakistan worth about USD 5.4 billion for FY2002-FY2010 (in-process sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment account for about half of this).

In addition, the US has provided Pakistan with nearly USD 2.5 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) since 2001.

These funds are used to purchase US military equipment for longer-term modernisation efforts.

Pakistan has also been granted US defence supplies as Excess Defence Articles (EDA).

"Major discord in the US-Pakistan bilateral relationship beginning mid-FY2011 has slowed the pace of transfers and deliveries considerably," the report said.

Major post-2001 defence supplies provided, or soon to be provided, under FMF include eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment (valued at USD474 million, four delivered, but two of these were destroyed in a March 2011 attack by Islamist militants); about 6,312 TOW anti-armor missiles USD 186 million; at least 2,007 delivered).

More than 5,600 military radio sets (USD 163 million); six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars (USD 100 million); six C-130E transport aircraft and their refurbishment (USD 76 million); the Perry-class missile frigate USS McInerney, via EDA (USD 65 million for refurbishment; delivered); 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters via EDA (USD 48 million, 12 refurbished and delivered); and 121 refurbished TOW missile launchers (USD 25 million).

A number of supplies paid for with a mix of Pakistani national funds and FMF include up to 60 Mid-Life Update kits for F-16A/B combat aircraft (valued at USD 891 million, with USD 477 million of this in FMF, Pakistan currently plans to purchase 45 such kits and eight have been delivered to date); and 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers USD 87 million, with USD 53 million in FMF).

Notable items paid or to be paid for entirely with Pakistani national funds include 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 combat aircraft (valued at USD 1.43 billion; all delivered); F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500 JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs; and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits, also for gravity bombs (USD 629 million);100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles (USD 298 million); 500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles (USD 95 million); and six Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns (USD 80 million).

Major articles transferred via EDA include 14 F-16A/B combat aircraft; and 59 T-37 military trainer jets.

Under Coalition Support Funds (part of the Pentagon budget), Pakistan received 26 Bell 412 utility helicopters, along with related parts and maintenance, valued at USD 235 million.

Under Section 1206, Frontier Corps, and Pakistan Counter-insurgency Fund authorities, the United States has provided 4 Mi-17 multirole helicopters (another six were provided temporarily at no cost), four King Air 350 surveillance aircraft, 450 vehicles for the Frontier Corps, 20 Buffalo explosives detection and disposal vehicles, helicopter spare parts, sophisticated explosives detectors, night vision devices, radios, body armour, helmets, first aid kits, litters, and other individual soldier equipment.

Through International Military Training and Education and other programmes, the United States has also funded and provided training for more than 2,000 Pakistani military officers, said the report dated July 25, 2012.

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