Doors open for talks with US on F-16 deal

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OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies a mission in the skies near Iraq on March 22. The F-16s are from the 35th Fighter Wing "Wild Weasels", Misawa Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby)

Pak seeks more evidence from India in Mumbai attack case

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Negotiations regarding the funding of F-16 jets for Pakistan may still be possible with the United States, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said on Thursday.
“US Senator John McCain will be visiting Pakistan soon to meet top leadership,” Zakaria said.
The FO spokesman said Pakistan would choose to become a part of the Missile Technology Control Regime at an ‘appropriate’ time.
Pakistan has a fairly advanced missile programme and has developed a number of short and medium-range ballistic missiles and UAVs, but it has never sought membership of the MTCR, which theoretically could have facilitated its access to high-end missile technologies.
India, however, became the 35th member of the MTCR this week after a consensus emerged in the regime on admitting it into its fold.
‘Asked for more evidence on Mumbai attacks’
Zakaria said that Pakistan has asked Indian authorities for more evidence regarding the Mumbai attacks so that Pakistan can pursue the case.
“Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has written a letter to authorities across the border and has demanded further details regarding the evidence linking Pakistan to the attacks,” he said.
Pakistan envoys have been called together for a meeting next month to discuss the rapidly changing scenario of international politics, the FO spokesman said.
The conference will also be used to devise a fitter strategy to deal with the future developments.
The development comes amidst criticism of the government’s foreign policy by members of the opposition who claim that Pakistan is becoming isolated and needs to maintain good relations with neighbouring countries.
Pakistan intends to resolve all outstanding issues with India through dialogue. “We are ready to hold composite dialogue with India,” he added.
To a question, the spokesperson stated that the authorities were working on information provided by RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadav. Several members of his network have already been detained.
When asked about Afghan refugees’ stay in Pakistan, he confirmed that their registration deadline has been extended by six months.

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