France holds up military aid worth $1.6 bn for Pak
Paris: France has reportedly held up military aid worth USD 1.6 billion for Pakistan, sources at President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said.
The military hardware, which was to be given to Pakistan, was to be used for the country’s JF-17 combat aircraft.
“It`s a deal that`s not ready from the Pakistani side. For now, the state of the dossier doesn`t allow us to carry on with it,” sources said without divulging much detail.
Earlier, one of France’s leading newspapers, Le Monde had reported that the Sarkozy administration has decided to suspend the sale of electronics and missiles, under the first part of a EUR 6 billion deal signed with Islamabad, following India’s request.
The newspaper said that Paris is also concerned over whether Pakistan would be able to pay-off the huge deal amount or not, and also is worried over the safety of the sophisticated technology being provided to it, as Islamabad is pushing to assemble the military equipments on its soil.
According to the newspaper, a consortium of three French companies, which included the leading missile manufacturer, MBDA (acronym for Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia), was supposed to produce the equipment.
In February, MBDA had said that it is planning to expand its operations in India and upgrade its fleet of Mirage 2000 combat jets.
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