From the horse’s mouth
Regarding the nuclear capability of the F-16s, he said that was no problem as most of the present-age aircraft are already capable of carrying nuclear weaponry. â€œWe already have this capability.â€ [Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat/The News]
That’s the chief of the Pakistani air force confirming that F-16s are, after all, capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
The Arms Control Wonk cites several sources that indicate that the United States knew, as early as 1992, that Pakistan had acquired the capability to deliver nuclear weapons after rejigging the F-16s.
â€œMoreover, unless US military aid is resumed, Pakistanâ€™s ability to deliver nuclear weapons with F-16s will erode over time.â€ [NSC report to Congress, 1993 via ACW]
The Bush administration’s award of major non-NATO ally status to Pakistan has already checked that process of erosion. Due to geopolitical reasons, as pointed out by Bill Rice and Dan, the Indian government may have reconciled to the Bush administration’s decision to sell the fighting falcons to Pakistan; but the fact remains that Pakistan’s nuclear delivery capabilities have just been enhanced.