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US State Dept approves $1bn military sale to Pakistan

Pakistani soldiers patrol at an empty bazaar during a military operation against Taliban militants in the main town of Miranshah in North Waziristan on July 9, 2014The US State Department has approved the sale of almost a billion dollars’ worth of advanced helicopters and missiles to Pakistan to help its counter-terror operations. The sale, which requires approval by Congress, would see Pakistan acquire 15 Viper Attack Helicopters and 1,000 Hellfire II Missiles, along with associated hardware and training, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement released on Monday. Identifying Pakistan as a country “vital to US foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia”, the agency added the proposed sale, valued at $952 million, would not adversely affect the regional balance of power. Pakistan’s principal rival in South Asia is India, a fellow nuclear power with which it has fought three wars.

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