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Pakistan will postpone the purchase of F-16s

November 4, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf says he will postpone the purchase of F-16. He said Pakistan needs to focus on reconstruction in the wake of the quake that killed more than 70,000 people.
Pakistan has long sought the jets but the US only approved the sale in March after years of sanctions concerning Islamabad's nuclear program.

The F-16 deal has been controversial because long-term rival India believes it will upset the regional balance of power.

Pakistan already has about 30 F-16s, delivered before the US embargo was imposed in 1990, but was anxious to increase its fleet.

"We should never do anything that would jeopardise our security," he said.

Earlier this week, Musharraf said that despite the October 8 quake Pakistan would not cut its massive defence spending, which is around 17% of the country's total budget.