Islamabad, Pakistan — Pakistan wants to buy more defense equipment and arms from the United States, Foreign Minister Sahabzada Yaqub Khan said yesterday. Pakistan's official APP news agency reported that Yaqub Khan told reporters before leaving for Washington that he would discuss Pakistan's arms needs with US officials. The foreign minister did not say what weapons he seeks.
The US is a major supplier of military and economic aid to Pakistan. In May, the Pentagon said it intended to sell 11 F-16 fighters and 560 missiles to Islamabad.
Yaqub Khan said that Afghanistan would be the main subject of his talks during his July 25-31 visit to Washington.
That subject is also expected to dominate a three-day visit by Yaqub Khan to Moscow starting Aug. 2.
Pakistan is ready, he said, to reciprocate any effort by the Soviet Union to reduce tension over Afghanistan - the subject of accusations from both sides on Saturday.
Moscow denied as ``pure slander'' a statement by Pakistan President Mohammed Zia ul-Haq that he had been told the Soviet Union had sent 10,000-12,000 soldiers back to Afghanistan to bolster Kabul's defenses.
Under the Geneva accords signed in April, the Soviet Union is to withdraw half of its more than 100,000 troops by Aug. 15 and the remainder by Feb. 15 next year.