OPINION

U.S. to Resume Sale of Arms to Pak.

There are strong reasons to believe that the United States has decided to lift the embargo on the direct sale of arms to Pakistan and that President Nixon has approved the supply of certain items of lethal military equipment to that country. The U.S. Administration has so far refused to disclose to India the nature and quantity of these weapons, but it is understood that at least 50 Patton tanks, and possibly even some fighter planes are immediately involved. The U.S. decision marks a major watershed in the U.S. policy towards the Indian sub-continent. It means that the U.S. after a long period of indecision, during which it had kept its five-year old policy of not supplying any weapons to either India or Pakistan, “under review”, has finally decided to disregard the Indian objections. The period since 1965, when the U.S. clamped the embargo, has in fact seen a gradual diminution of the U S. will to resist Pakistan demands for a resumption of arms supplies. The fact that during this period Pakistan succeeded in obtaining large quantities of arms first from China and then the Soviet Union, and Delhi’s persistent warnings that it would have serious repercussions in India, do not appear to have discouraged Washington from taking its latest decision.

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