Military News Analysis - The type of American Arms that can be supplied to Pakistan

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Quetta (Pakistan), with inputs from correspondents at London and New York:

With Colin Powell in Islamabad, there is talk of resuming the supply of American arms to Pakistan. We feel that we need to be a bit choosy of the kind of arms we supply to Pakistan.

The last time around, when we supplied them with heat seeking stinger missiles to arm the Afghan Militias who were then fighting the Soviets, we have ended up today with our Stingers being aimed at us. And hence the present air campaign has to make the Afghan skies safe for our helicopter gunships.

Today we should not repeat the mistake the Regan administration did in the 1980s. If at all we have to supply arms to Pakistan they can be in the shape of those which the Pakistanis need today and which cannot be aimed at us tomorrow.

Today the Pakistani authorities have their hands full with the deteriorating law and order situation at Jacobabad where the unruly mobs want to storm the airbase to prevent our helicopter gunships from landing. This alongwith the violent rampage at all other major Pakistani cities like Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, etc., means that we need immediately to supply the Pakistani with water cannons, rubber truncheons, tranquilizer bullets, tear gas shells and other ammo needed to quell unrest on the streets. We can also send in our riot control gear (shields, nets, et al) and also our riot control expertise to guide the Pakistanis help fight the battle that is threatening the stability and law and order situation in this vital front-line ally of ours.

For more on this visit an exclusive page on how the US needs to Arm Pakistan.

- Robin McArthur

On behalf of the team

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