US to give anti-submarine frigate to Pakistan

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Washington, Oct 19 : President George W Bush has approved provision of a US anti-submarine frigate to Pakistan, which will be refurbished with latest systems and delivered in August 2010.

Pakistani Embassy in Washington has been informed that the US President signed a bill on Friday, authorizing provision of Frigate FFG-8 McInerney anti-submarine (type Oliver Hazard Perry) from the American fleet. The US Congress has already endorsed the decision.

Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani lobbied hectically over the last few weeks and worked closely with the US departments of State and Defense as well as senior officials at the White House to secure support for Pakistan's request, which received a positive response inside a month.

In his several interactions, Haqqani made a strong case for Pakistan, arguing that the US should help improve its ally's maritime security capabilities.

This ship will enhance Pakistan's ability to monitor territorial waters, an embassy official said.

Pakistan plays a key role as member of the Combined Task Force 150 of anti-terrorism allies, which conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Pakistan has twice commanded the force.

The frigate will be refurbished with anti-submarine missile and other latest systems at a cost of 65 million dollar, The News reported.

ANI

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