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Pakistan Calls India's Objections to US Arms Deal Baseless

Pakistan says India's objections to a proposed $1.3 billion U.S. arms deal with Islamabad is unwarranted.

Indian officials say U.S. plans to supply sophisticated weapons to Pakistan will cast a shadow on New Delhi's increasingly close relations with Washington. They say it will also affect efforts to normalize ties between India and Pakistan.

But Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesman Masood Khan told reporters in Islamabad that India's objections are unjustified because it has its own "ambitious weaponization and weapons-acquisition program".

"Pakistan has a very modest [defense] program and our requirements are modest'" he said. "Therefore, I think that this protest by India is unwarranted. "

The United States has notified Congress of a possible $1.3-billion arms package for Pakistan. U.S officials are reported as saying the package includes (P-3C Orion) planes and other military equipment that will mainly be used to enhance surveillance of Pakistan's coasts and borders to stop the movement of terrorists and drug smugglers.

Pakistani spokesman Khan says the proposed U.S arms sale is still under consideration and will not affect the military balance in the region.

"They would only increase Pakistan's defensive posture and they would not disrupt or affect the existing military balance," Said Mr. Khan. "In fact the existing military balance in the conventional sphere is asymmetrical therefore it needs to rectified in favor of Pakistan."

Meanwhile, the Pakistani spokesman has welcomed U.S congressional approval of military aid to Pakistan worth $300 million.

"This also goes on to demonstrate that Pakistan-U.S relations are on track, and I think this the baseline, so to say, of Pakistan-United States cooperation," he added.

Pakistan has been receiving significant political and economic aid from the United States since becoming a close and vital ally in the global war on terrorism.