While the US cleared billions of dollars’ worth arms sales to Pakistan for the fight against terror, including advanced F 16 fighters, it refused the sale of a crucial advanced missile technology due to concerns that it could be used to target India.
A request by Islamabad to procure an advanced Harpoon missile system was turned down in 2009 after Washington determined that it would threaten India, latest diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.
According to Indian media, in a cable dated March 18, 2009, US Ambassador Anne W Patterson justified the sale of F 16 fighters to Pakistan, holding that it was not a threat as India has an overwhelming aerial superiority, and went on to say that Washington has occassionally denied “Pakistani requests for arms sales that could upset the regional balance of power”.
As an example, the cable quotes a decision taken in February 2009 turning down the request for the advanced Harpoon missile system. The reason given is that the new system would enable Pakistan to target the Indian coastline and would not have any use in the war against terror.“We have and will deny arms sales that we believe would upset the regional balance of power, as we have with the recent GOP (Government of Pakistan) request to buy the Coastal Targeting Suppression System, which enables Harpoon missiles to be fired at land or near-land targets using GPS technology,” reads the cable titled “Saving the F 16 Program”.