INTERVIEW
 
PAF gained deterrent skill years before 1998 nuclear tests: Air Marshall Tanveer Mehmood
Online News
March 18, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Air Chief Marshall Tanveer Mehmood has said Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was fully capable to face all challenges, and had acquired the skill to play effective role in managing credible nuclear deterrence years before Pakistan tested its nuclear weapons in 1998.

He said this Tuesday while addressing the launching ceremony of the book, The Pakistan Air Force: 1998-2008, Dawn of an Era, authored by Allen Warnes, the co-editor of Air-Forces Monthly.

"We did not lose courage after the several defence curbs imposed by US on Pakistan. We kept on moving ahead with resolve and determination. The United States refused to deliver F-16 aircrafts and we acquired JF-17 Thunder, which has made our defence impregnable", he remarked.

The Air Force chief said that PAF was equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and was fully capable to face all challenges.

British journalist Allen Warnes said his attempt to author this book could not have materialized without the cooperation of PAF, and that he was grateful to the Air Chief Marshall for his kind guidance.

Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad and Zafar Nawaz Jaspal from the Department of International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, in their respective remarks termed the publication of as a crucial event in the history PAF.

"An important theme that cuts across the entire text is that at least twice in PAF history international sanctions proved to be a blessing in disguise. In the 60s, they pushed us towards intensifying cooperation with China and building Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. In the 90s, the same factor led us to gain indigenous air capability. JF-17 Thunder is surely a jewel in the PAF crown," said Dr Ishtiaq.

"PAF has qualitative edge over its Indian rival. It is a crucial component of our nuclear deterrent, and we will have to devote all possible resources in future to ensure that we have a viable air force capability, including early warning defense systems," he added.

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