Pakistan's Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto opened a two-day formal visit to Washington on Wednesday (5 February).
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Background: Pakistan's Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto opened a two-day formal visit to Washington on Wednesday (5 February).
Mr. Bhutto, who is seeking the end of a 10-year embargo on arms aid to Pakistan imposed by the United States during the 1965 war between his country and India, held the first of a series of talks at the White House with President Gerald Ford and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Mr. Bhutto, accompanied by this Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Aziz Ahmed, also is seeking a substantial increase in U.S. food assistance in the wake of a recent earthquake and drought.
After a 70-minute meeting with President Ford and Dr. Kissinger on Wednesday, Mr. Bhutto said he had received assurances that the United States is actively considering lifting the arms embargo. But Washington sources said that because such a move could strain relations with India, and possibly upset Congress, it would not likely be announced until Mr. Bhutto leaves Washington, in order to soften its impact. Mr. Bhutto stressed that he is seeking modern defensive weapons only.
The Washington sources also said the United States would offer Pakistan 300,000 tons of wheat to be delivered this year in addition to 100,000 tons promised last October.