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Pakistan to push U.S. for F-16s

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Pakistan is expected to press the United States for a supply of F-16 fighter jets when defense officials of the two nations meet Thursday.

Douglas Feith, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, and Gen. Hamid Nawaz Khan, Pakistan's defense secretary, will meet in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, the Indian newspaper The Hindu reported Tuesday.

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They are expected to discuss military cooperation, U.S. security assistance to Pakistan, counterterrorism and long-term strategic relations, Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan said Monday.

"All issues, including Pakistan's request for a supply of F-16 jets, will be discussed," he said.

An earlier meeting finalized a $1.3 billion package under which Pakistan would receive military equipment and weapons, including surveillance aircraft and anti-tank and anti-ship missile systems.

Washington, however, has been silent on Pakistan's persistent demand for F-16s, to which India objected.

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