The Pakistan Navy says Islamabad has given the green light to the military's plan to purchase eight conventional submarines from China, reports Huanqiu, the Chinese-language website of China's nationalistic tabloid Global Times.
The navy told the country's National Security Council that the federal government supports its plan on Monday and said it believes the council will eventually approve it too.
Officials from the navy refuted the remarks of some council members who questioned China's submarine technology. The military said the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet co-developed by the two countries has proved that China has the capability to create world-class aircraft. However, the navy has also been considering purchasing secondhand submarines from Germany, the UK and France.
France has refused to sell submarines to Pakistan again, however, due to a disagreement between the two countries over technology transfer. France is also said to be planning to sell its submarines to Pakistan's rival India.
Pakistan has five submarines, all made in France or jointly developed by Pakistan and France. Two of them have been in service for over 30 years and the remaining three Agosta-class 90B submarines are the main force behind the Pakistan Navy.
In 2009, the navy planned to buy two Type 214 submarines from Germany but abandoned the plan because of the subs' high prices.