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Pak may get some F-16s free!

Source: PTI
March 31, 2005 18:02 IST
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Pakistan has the option of getting some of the F-16 fighter jets free from the US under the $ 3 billion assistance announced by Washington in 2003.

This was stated by American envoy Ryan C Crocker while launching the United States Department of Agriculture-funded Poverty Alleviation Programme. The USDA has given a $ 25 million grant to the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund for the project.

Also see: F-16s for Pak: Don't worry, US tells India

Crocker said a technical team of US officials would visit Pakistan in the next few weeks to finalise details related to the sale of the fighter jets to Islamabad.

Asked about resolution of Kashmir problem, he said it "is an old and difficult issue." However, the overall progress on the issue is encouraging, he said, pointing out that the launch of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service would provide
an opportunity to the Kashmiris on both sides to meet.

The $ 3 billion assistance announced by President George W Bush in the summer of 2003 for Pakistan is getting underway this year, local daily Dawn quoted Crocker as saying.

Also see: F-16 for PakĀ -- Bush calls up PM

Under the programme, Pakistan would get $ 600 million annual tranche equally divided between military and economic spheres.

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