No IMF pressure for cut in defence budget: Pak Defence Minister

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Islamabad, Nov 27 (UNI) Pakistan Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar has said the IMF had not exerted any pressure on Pakistan to reduce its defence budget nor was it a condition for its loan.

He was talking to mediapersons after witnessing a demonstration of tanks and other Pakistan-made weapons systems during a visit to the ongoing international defence exhibition in Karachi yesterday.

He said he expected defence-related exports to grow considerably in the coming years.

Mr Mukhtar said visiting delegations had liked Pakistan-made tanks and aircraft and Pakistan would soon join the ranks of countries exporting battlefield tanks. He said progressive manufacturing of defence equipment was aimed at ensuring credible defence capability.

He said the defence forces of Pakistan were capable of defending the country because they excelled in their capability despite financial and other constraints.

He said negotiations with many potential buyers were under way for exporting top of the series weapons, adding that many countries had evinced keen interest in the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, jointly developed by Pakistan and China.

Reiterating Pakistan's commitment to regional and global peace, he claimed that the exhibition had provided a platform to project the dangers of conflict and the need for peace through negotiations.


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