WASHINGTON: The question of lifting the five-year-old US embargo on arms sales to Pakistan is under active consideration, US officials said yesterday [July 6]. The use of the adjective ‘active’ appeared to contain a hint that a decision to lift the embargo could be the likely outcome, observers said. But the officials said they could neither confirm nor deny a “Baltimore Sun” report yesterday that the embargo may soon be lifted. They said the embargo had been under review for some months. According to “The Sun”, a recommendation to resume sales has gone to the National Security Council and perhaps to President Nixon, although he said the State Department was reported to be opposed to any change in policy.

Pakistan, according to US Press reports, is seeking Patton tanks from the United States, and is also believed interested in obtaining some jets. The US has not sold arms to Pakistan or India since the 1965 war over Kashmir. …

Senator J. William Fulbright … on March 24, criticised a reported US plan to transfer Patton tanks now owned by Turkey to Pakistan, with the US replacing the ones Turkey would give up. … However, Press reports suggest that the Nixon Administration may be thinking of a direct sale of arms to Pakistan. — Agency

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2020