US blocks sale of armoured personnel carriers to Pakistan

May 23rd, 2008 - 2:05 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, May 23 (IANS) Annoyed over the peace talks Islamabad is conducting with Taliban rebels in the country’s restive northern areas bordering Afghanistan, the US has barred a German firm from selling 800 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to the Pakistan Army. The US State Department had earlier approved the sale of the APCs, being manufactured under licence in Germany.

“But, now all of sudden, it has reviewed its decision. The only consideration behind this move was the recent peace deals in the tribal areas of Pakistan, as the Americans were found to be annoyed with the new political government at Islamabad,” The News reported Friday.

This move is being seen as an attempt to put pressure on the new leadership of the Pakistan Army so that it opposes peace deals with Taliban elements in the tribal and other parts of the North West Frontier Province.

The APC deal had once before been put on hold due to sanctions imposed by the European Union after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Nov 3 declared an emergency, sacked the Supreme Court and high court judges and suspended basic human rights.

The sanctions were lifted after a civilian government assumed office in Pakistan. The German firm was preparing to fulfil the order when the US State Department stepped in.

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