Islamabad, Sept 03: Pakistan government`s decision to
buy, repair and upgrade 96 F-16 aircrafts under stringent
conditions has been strongly criticised by Islamist alliance
Muthahida Majlis Amal (MMA) which claimed the deal would turn
the country into an "American colony".
The purchase on "shameful" conditions was "tantamount to
making Pakistan an American colony," MMA president Qazi
Hussain Ahmad said in a statement on Satrurday.
He said under the deal, Islamabad would buy 36 new, 26
used and 34 upgraded F-16s from the us for about 5.1 billion
dollars to be paid in advance.
Islamabad had to fulfill certain conditions, including
the presence of US personnel at the Pakistani airbase for
daily checking of the aircraft, monitoring flights and
operations, bar to carry nuclear warheads and prior approval
of the US government for operation against a third nation, he
was quoted as saying by the Daily Times.
The MMA leader said all these conditions were
"prejudicial" to national interest. He claimed all Pakistani
airbases would come "under the control of" US Air Force.
He said US Assistant Secretary of State for Political
Military Affairs John Helen had categorically stated that this
deal would prevent China from building a strategic
military-to-military relationship with Pakistan. "This (deal)
will convert Pakistan from a sovereign and independent country
to an American colony," Hussain said.