COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is yet to take a final decision on how to respond to an offer by Pakistan, to sell its JF-17 fighter jets, defence secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi has told 'BBC'.

He has confirmed the government intended to buy fighter jets for the Army. Media had reported that an agreement in this regard would be signed, during Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s two-day visit to the island.

Hettiarachchi said expressions of interest would be called, as the government would not accept bids from just one party. When asked as to why the Army needed new fighter jets six years after militarily defeating the LTTE, he said the state has a responsibility to keep its military in readiness to face any threat.

He declined to say how many fighter jets would be bought, noting that they were confidential matters, but that the buying would be done in an internally transparent manner.