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Pakistan making own spy aircraft: Air Chief

(Xinhua)

08:59, February 14, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan Air Chief Air Marshal Rao Qamar Sulema said on Monday that the country is manufacturing its own spy aircraft and will soon be able to prepare pilotless plane equipped with missile technology, local media reported.

Talking to reporters at the Shehbaz Airbase in southern Sindh province, he said Pakistan is making unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV drones) at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in the town of Kamra near Islamabad, Geo TV reported.

Asked if the F-16 aircraft that Pakistan recently received from the U.S. can down American drones, Suleman said that the Pakistan Air Force does not want any such situation.

The media people were taken to the Shehbaz Airbase to formally announce that the airbase is now under the complete control of the Pakistan Air Force.

The U.S., which used the airbase for drone attacks in Afghanistan and possibly in Pakistan, was told to vacate the base by Pakistan in the aftermath of the November 26 NATO strike on Pakistani posts, which had killed 24 soldiers.

The Air Chief said that 14 used F-16s were provided to Pakistan by the U.S. free of cost while 18 others have been bought.

The Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on the occasion that the parliament reserves the right to decide on the resumption of NATO supplies.

He said that the final decision on whether NATO supplies will be allowed to pass through Pakistan for forces based in Afghanistan will be made by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.

The Army Chief said that Pakistan and the U.S. are cooperating on defence operations and Pakistani officials are taken into confidence whenever bordering areas are to be attacked.

Talking about the Coalition Support Fund, which was set up by the U.S. Congress after the September 11, 2001, attacks to reimburse allies for costs in supporting the U.S.-led war on militancy, General Kayani said that Pakistan was yet to receive 1. 5 billion U.S. dollars from the U.S.

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