Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the F-16s provided by the US would not disturb the regional balance of power and that the advanced jets would not be used for aggression against any other country.
During a meeting with Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman at the presidency here, Zardari expressed the hope that the F-16s would help Pakistan in the ongoing ‘war on terror,’ The Dawn reports.
Zardari’s statement is in contrast with what Air Chief Marshal Suleman had said during the induction ceremony of the first three of 18 F-16s provided by the US earlier this week.
Suleman had said that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) would not hesitate to deploy the newly inducted F-16 fighter aircrafts against any ‘external and internal’ threat.
“Our mission is to maintain peace with honour in the region but should this primary effort of maintaining peace fails, the PAF will employ all its assets, including these aircraft, to defend the country against external and internal security threats,” Suleman had said.
First Published: Friday, July 02, 2010, 13:33