Subject: Pakistan negotiating conditions attached to F-16 deal

[folks with long memories may recall that these planes were offered to Indonesia when the embargo of Pakistan was still on. There were congressional threats to veto the sale and in 1997 Suharto stated that he didn't want them, citing U.S. criticisms of Indonesia human rights violations in East Timor. ]

Pakistan negotiating conditions attached to F-16 deal

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:58pm ET 253

By Arshad Sharif

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Pakistan is negotiating over strict conditions attached by the United States to a proposed multi-billion dollar deal to supply the Pakistani air force with F-16 warplanes, defence officials said on Tuesday.

The Bush administration formally notified Congress on June 28 of plans to sell Pakistan up to 36 new "Fighting Falcon" warplanes, and the formal sale agreement was expected to have been signed by end-August.

The proposed sale had included upgrades for Pakistan's fleet of 34 earlier model F-16s and a support package for up to 26 refurbished F-16s that Pakistan may eventually buy.

"Negotiations are on and once the details are sorted out, further progress will be made," Air Commodore Sarfaraz Ahmed Khan, spokesman of for the Pakistan Air Force, said.

Washington has demanded what it calls unprecedented steps to stop the technology of the advanced F-16s, their spare parts and munitions from falling into the hands of third countries -- notably China, which has close military ties to Pakistan.

John Hillen, the Assistant Secretary of State for political-military affairs, told Congress on July 20 the United States had also proposed that F-16 flights outside Pakistani air space, including for exercises with other countries, must be approved by the U.S. government in advance.

Hillen said the transfer of technology safeguards inserted in the contract were "unprecedented".

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