PPP hails Agosta’s acquisition report
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party on Wednesday appreciated the report that the second conventional Agosta 90-B submarine was likely to be commissioned in the Pakistan Navy in March this year.
“The Agosta submarine project, the development of the Al Zarar tanks and the indigenous defence production are features of Benazir Bhutto government’s policy to strengthen the country’s defence,” a PPP spokesman said in a statement issued by the media cell.
“Equipping the Navy with the latest submarines was a great achievement of the PPP government without throwing any one out of job and seizure of foreign currency accounts,” the statement added.
It said: “When the deal for Agostas was signed the enemies of Pakistan’s security sought to make it controversial by allegations of commissions and kickbacks, but failed. The decision to buy Agostas from France was taken by the PPP government in the best national interest and in accordance with the recommendations of the Navy, the Joint Chiefs Committee, the Defence Committee of the Cabinet and the ministry.”
The statement also quoted the spokesman as saying that the deal was the most fair, and it ensured transfer of technology to Pakistan.
“Even the Indian Naval chief has admitted that the Agosta submarines had given Pakistan an edge over them. Saudi Arabia and Malaysia also want to acquire these subs. The Pakistani Naval chief has called it the ‘biggest achievement.’”
“The PPP government also wanted to equip the Pakistan Air force with the latest Mirages to maintain its technological edge, but the issue was politicised, and the PAF was deprived of the much-needed replenishment,” the statement said. It said: “It is deplorable that the PPP leaders were being persecuted by the establishment, and that marked the end to democracy.”