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New jet

April 06, 2005

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KAMRA, April 5: President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday described the launching of JF-17 thunder aircraft production project as a giant leap towards indigenization and self-reliance, saying Pakistan will maintain minimum level of defensive deterrence in both conventional and unconventional fields as it wants peace with dignity and honour. Addressing the launching ceremony of the production project of the multi-role fighter plane, jointly developed by Pakistan and China, the president said it reflects the time-tested friendship between the two countries.

The time-tested, all-weather and deep-rooted Pakistan-China friendship is going from strength to strength and will be further enhanced with the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, he said hours before the arrival of the Chinese leader for a three-day visit.

Pakistan has come a long way and stands at the threshold of a major leap forward by acquiring indigenous capability of manufacturing the JF-17 aircraft, which will form the backbone of the Pakistan Air Force, he said at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.

Pakistan, he said, stands for peace but jealously guards its sovereignty.

Pakistan will continue to maintain its strategy of defensive deterrence, he said.

He expressed Islamabads determination not to compromise on the minimum deterrence level in both fields. We are maintaining this deterrence level as it guarantees peace with honour and dignity, he said.

Pakistan has evaluated the requirements of its armed forces for the next 15 years and declared that the country has both resources and skilled manpower to meet the target for the next 15 years and maintain defensive deterrence strategy.

The president unveiled a plaque to mark the launching of the project at the ceremony, which was attended by Defence Minister Rao Sikander Iqbal, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Defence Production Minister Habibullah Warriach, Services chiefs and senior officials.APP