As reported in The Nation (June 14), Pakistan would get 18 F-16 fighters from the US by the end of this month with conditions and restrictions which hardly justify our calling each other allies. The acceptance of such onerous conditions by Pakistan at a time when US needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs her is a sad reflection on the bargaining skills of our rulers. It is abject and complete surrender, as usual. Israel gets far more from US in economic and military aid without providing any useful service in return and without the suffocating pre-conditions. As a matter of fact, US ensures that the supply-chain of arms and ammunition to Israel is always unhindered even when it is busy bombarding civilians in neighbouring countries or the hapless, helpless people in Gaza. Moreover, the US keeps a stockpile of nearly a $ 1 billion worth of arms and ammunition in Israel from which Israel can draw on demand. Contrast that with restrictions imposed on Pakistan that it shall not use the F-16s against India. If it wanted such an assurance, an undertaking from the capital of its principal ally in war on terror, Islamabad, should have been more than enough. But the US Air Force engineers are actually coming, accompanying delivery of the F-16s to supervise not only the airbases but also the operations that are to be carried out by the PAF against Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Though the PAF pilots would fly the jets, the logistics, management and control would remain with the US engineers. So in fact the operational control of the Pakistani air space and Shahbaz Air base in Jacobabad, in a volatile and sensitive province, is being handed over to the US. This at a time when US operatives are found indulging in suspicious activities in Balochistan where Washington is also planning to set up a consulate in Quetta. S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, June 15.