Democracy can wait (forever)

Pakistan may be on the brink of civil strife but defense contractors haven’t forgotten their priorities:

Lockheed Martin Corp was awarded a $498.2 million contract to supply F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, the Pentagon said on Monday, as Pakistani officials mulled whether to go ahead with a January 8 election after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Lockheed will sell 12 F-16C plus 6 F-16D planes to Pakistan under the contract, the Pentagon said in its daily list of defense contract awards. The Defense Department, which oversees sales of military weapons to foreign governments, did not say how soon the fighter jets would be delivered.

Pakistan has received about $10 billion in U.S. funding since 2001 because Washington views Pakistan as a key ally in President George W. Bush’s campaign against terrorism.

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