-Islamabad: The US will provide 160 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles with spare and repair parts to Pakistan for an estimated cost of USD 198 million, according to a media report on Saturday.
The State Department's nod comes as Pakistan's military is engaged in Operation 'Zarb-i-Azb' against militants in the northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan and targeted action against insurgents in other areas, the Dawn said.
In a release, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency yesterday said Pakistan had requested to purchase 160 Navistar MRAP vehicles, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and equipment training, US government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.
The Agency has delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale, whose principal contractor will be Navistar Defence Corporation in Madison Heights, Michigan, the release said.
The US says there will be no adverse impact on its own defence readiness as a result of this sale, nor will the basic military balance in the region be affected, the paper said.
Instead, the sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States "by helping to improve the security of a country vital of US foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia", the paper said.
There are also no known offset agreements proposed in the connection with this potential sale, the release stated.
The US government will be required to send two government and 24 contractor representatives to Pakistan for a period of approximately 18 months to perform inspections, provide assistance, conduct training and maintain accountability of the provided material.
Reports of Pakistan's likelihood of receiving MRAP vehicles began to surface in March this year, the paper said.
Pakistani and American officials have been in discussions on the issue over several months and the latest nod from the US comes as the war in Afghanistan is winding down, it added.