New aircraft and frigates will strengthen defence
* President hails United States decision on F-16 sale to Pakistan
KARACHI: President Pervez Musharraf said on Monday that the inclusion of the P-3C Orion aircraft, F 22-P Frigates and acquisition of F-16 fighter jets would strengthen Pakistan’s defence.
“These state-of-the-art weapons will augment our defence capabilities and play an important role in any future scenario,” he said while addressing a debriefing of Pakistan Navy exercise ‘Shamsheer-e-Bahr II’ on PNS Jauhar. President Musharraf praised the close coordination of the three services (land, air, sea) during the exercise, saying the lessons learnt from it were practical and would help validate Pakistan Navy’s operational plans and doctrines. He also said efficient cohesion and coordination between the three services would prove to be a key to all solutions.
The president said the existence and prosperity of all nations rested on economy and defence and that it was heartening to see that Pakistan had strengthened both pillars. He also congratulated the three services for conducting the exercise efficiently and praised the efforts of all concerned.
Earlier, Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Shahid Karimullah said the exercise conducted bi-annually was an extension of the joint services-level exercise ‘Sabit Qadam II’. The exercise helped Pakistan Navy look over its concepts and war plans, he said, adding that this year’s exercise was conducted on a wider canvas with greater participation from all services. Later, President Musharraf told PTV that the acquisition of F-16s was a long-standing demand of Pakistan, which would now be met.
About the number of F-16s to be purchased, he said there was no limit put by the US and that Pakistan would determine the number it wanted in accordance to its requirements. He said Pakistan would get the latest C and D versions of the aircraft. app
Musharraf to visit Balochistan on April 2
QUETTA: President General Pervez Musharraf will start his two-day visit to Balochistan province April 2. Sources claimed the president would address a public rally on April 2 in Qalat and another rally in Zhob on April 3. Sources said that Pakistan Muslim League activists had started arrangements for the president’s addresses. online