By Farrukh Saleem
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is now flying air patrols over Fata. To be certain, PAF’s F-16s rely on AN/APG-66 radar, which is a solid state medium range, up to 150 km, pulse-doppler radar and is thus no match for the patrols undertaken by the aerial warfare branch of the US, the United States Air Force (USAF).
Intriguingly, our F-16s were made by the Lockheed Martin and our solid state aging radars by the Northrop Grumman. Our F-16s, after all, aren’t the multi-role jet fighters that we thought they were. As luck would have it, we are now begging the US for new Block 50/52 F-16s.
Our soldiers and flyers are trying — and so far failing — to establish the writ of the state in their own country and the PAF has neither the intent nor the capability of taking on the USAF. Our F-16s are merely meant for India’s Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs, jointly produced by Russia’s Sukhoi Corporation and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. And yet, Pakistanis who are now eating grass want their generals to demonstrate that they are capable of protecting our borders from USAF’s incursions. There is evidence now that Uncle Sam is turning to India. For the past two decades, our generals have managed to pin down India’s 15, 9, 16, 14, 10 and 11 Corps in the north-east in a low-intensity, low-cost confrontation and Indian generals have failed to find a way out. General Deepak Kapoor, India’s 23rd Chief of Army Staff, would love a way out.
Then came September 13 — five explosions in three crowded New Delhi market places. Initial response of the Indian establishment was that it was the work of the so-called “self-styled Indian Mujahideen.”
When was it that we stopped 40 Nato trucks from crossing over the Torkham border? Within two weeks, India ordered a water blockade of the Chenab River just when our Kharif crops — cotton and sugarcane — need water the most. Isn’t India acting in concert with the US and Afghanistan?
India’s ‘double pincer’ at us could not have come at a worse time — economic meltdown, an active insurgency and a terrifying political vacuum. Can we take on the trilateral consensus against us?
Source: The News, 17/9/2008