I must take issue with Robert Scheer's March 29 commentary, "A Con Job by Pakistan's Pal, George Bush," when he equates the sale of a few F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan with encouraging nuclear proliferation and escalating the arms race in the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan already has a sizable fleet of F-16s and long-range missiles capable of carrying warheads. The sale only makes up the losses of the F-16s suffered during the last 25 years. With the simultaneous sale by the U.S. of a larger consignment of aircraft to India, the balance of power will further tilt in favor of India.
If Bush were a real pal to Pakistan and India, instead of selling to both sides and thus pouring billions into the coffers of Lockheed Martin, he would have advised them to lay off brandishing sophisticated weaponry at each other and instead use the money for the welfare of their billion-plus people living in poverty.
Abdus Salam Khan
The hypocritical Bush administration is at it again, not only endorsing nuclear weapons with its sale of F-16 fighter jets, but supporting a country that has backed incessant terrorism against India. Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf condemns terrorism when speaking to the global community while condoning it in front of his own people. The war on terror should be our utmost concern, but the means to fight it are as important. Maybe America should finally take steps to "preserve freedom" by supporting India, the world's largest democracy.