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Pakistan and US close in on $1 billion defense deal

Staff writer ▼ | April 9, 2015
Pakistan and the United States moved closer to a billion dollar defense deal this week, after US authorities notified Congress of a proposal to supply helicopters and missiles to sharpen up Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts.
Pakistan US
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Pakistan is fighting a Taliban insurgency in its northwest, a separatist insurgency along its Iranian border in the west, and has a heavily militarised and disputed border with arch rival India in the east.

The 952 million dollars proposal involves the United States supplying Pakistan with 15 AH-1Z attack helicopters, 1,000 Hellfire missiles, engines, targeting and positioning systems and other equipment. But negotiations are not complete.

The helicopters and weapon systems were designed for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, especially in the mountainous Taliban strongholds along the Afghan border, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

On Monday, the agency notified Congress of the proposed sale, noting it would "contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to US foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia".

The equipment "will not alter the basic military balance in the region," the agency said.