Follow by Email


AV-8B Harrier jump-jet   (click here to open a new window with this photo in computer wallpaper format)Amid efforts to mollify a surcharged anti-American mood in Pakistan, the United States on Tuesday rolled out the first of 18 new F-16
fighter aircraft produced for its ally even as officials from the two countries scrambled to agree on placatory language to accompany the Kerry-Lugar bill to be signed by President Obama in the next 72 hours.

The ''insulting'' tone of the so-called K-L bill, which doles out $ 7.5 billion aid to Islamabad over five years subject to its ceasing support for terrorism, stopping nuclear proliferation, and reigning in its hyper-aggressive military, has inflamed Pakistan. Bowing to a diktat from its military junta, Pakistan's civilian government earlier this week rushed its foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi back to Washington to convey the country's mood and concerns over the language in the bill.

Qureshi's talks with Af-Pak pointman Richard Holbrooke and other senior US officials and lawmakers on the subject resulted in nothing more than assurances that Washington would not infringe on Pakistan's sovereignty. But the US would not rewrite the legislation, although Senator Kerry is expected to issue further clarifications aimed at pacifying Pakistan. The President thereafter is expected to ive his assent to the bill with a ''signing statement'' that might reiterate US respect for Pakistan's sovereignty, even though the argument in Pakistan is that the legislation undermines it.

That signing ceremony is expected before the weekend, possibly as soon as Thursday. President Obama is conducting a full and final review of his Pak-Af policy in the White House's underground Situation Room on Wednesday morning, following which he will emerge to host a Diwali celebration in the White House, the first time a US President would have attended such an event.

While all this was playing out in Washington DC where Pakistan has come to be seen as a distasteful ally (''I absolutely have to hold my nose when I work with the Pakistani government,'' a US analyst said on camera in a TV program broadcast Tuesday night), a different scene was unfolding at a Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
Watched by the Air Force chiefs, diplomats, officials from the two countries and local law-makers, Lockheed Martin unveiled the first of 18 Block 52 F-16s made for Pakistan under an order ironically named ''Peace Drive 1.''

The 18-jet order, which includes 12 F-16Cs and six F-16Ds, was scaled down from the original 32, which Pakistan could not afford. But even the whittled down order has kept Lockheed Martin's Forth Worth plant, which is otherwise nearing the end of its life, humming for awhile, which is why the event saw the attendance of lawmaker Kay Granger from the adjoining Texas 12th district.

The ceremony also saw the presence of Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, whose job is on the line because Pakistan's military believes he had a role in undermining its primacy by getting Washington to legislate civilian oversight over it. In an interview to a foreign policy journal on his way to the event, Haqqani appears to have hinted that he has the capacity to embarrass the military if he was fired from his job, a threat that is certain to inflame the already fraught civilian-military confrontation brewing in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin said the 18-jets order, including the two-seater F-16D model rolled out Tuesday, will be delivered in the 2009-2010 timeframe. The deliveries will bring to 54 the number of F-16s acquired by Pakistan since it first began receiving them from the US in 1982.

While a few of them are believed to have attrited, Pakistan will still have around 50 F-16s in its inventory at the end of the current order.

''Peace Drive is the flagship of modernization for Pakistan's Air Force. It is the latest configuration of the best 4th generation multirole fighter available in the world today,'' John Larson, vice president of F-16 programs for Lockheed Martin, said at the roll-out ceremony.
Update news
The US on Wednesday unveiled the first of the 18 new F-16 fighter aircraft being produced for Islamabad even as the Pakistan Army has raised serious concern over the conditions imposed for military aid through the Kerry-Lugar bill.

Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Rao Quamar Suleman, accepted the first F-16 Block 52 aircraft on behalf of the country at an event at the Forth Worth facility of manufacturer Lockheed Martin, also attended by Pakistan ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani.

AV-8B Harrier jump-jetSpeaking on the occasion, Suleman said the roll out shows that the programme is "on track" despite it experiencing many ups and downs.
The first batch of F-16 aircraft is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan in June next year. The delivery of all 18 jets is planned to be completed by December 2010.

The aircraft order is designated as "Peace Drive I," continuing a long tradition of naming F-16 international sales programmes with the word Peace, Lockheed Martin said in a media release.

The programme raises the total number of F-16s ordered by Pakistan to 54. The Pakistan air force received its first F-16, in the block 15 F-16A/B configuration, in 1982.

Pakistan has been operating Lockheed Martin aircraft since 1963, when it received C-130B airlifters, it said.

The US was represented by Congressman Kay Granger and Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Norton Schwartz.

"Peace Drive is the flagship of modernisation for Pakistan's air force. It is the latest configuration of the best fourth generation multi-role fighter available in the world today," said John Larson, vice president of F-16 programmes for Lockheed Martin.

As many as 25 countries have opted for F-16 with more than 4,400 aircraft been delivered worldwide from assembly lines in five countries, it said.


Post a Comment

please leave your opinion about his blog ,
this will help us to give some more quality information.

Write 4 namesake-expert

Thank you for your interest in being part of the namesake-expert writing community.
namesake-expert publishes original news content, opinion pieces, trending topics and breaking stories in the area of technology, entertainment, business, politics, lifestyle, videos,sports, lifestyle and women’s issues. Articles must be written in English, published first on namesake-expert and will be reviewed by the “seasoned” namesake-expert Team.
If you are interested revert back to

side l


images in posts are not related to the content .
it pasted to relate the content or to describe the message of post.
if any photo of any person in post hurting any sentiment it can be removed busted. pls complain it to this Email -->