Pakistan’s Foreign ministry rejects report of arms sale to Ukraine to secure IMF bailout
Islamabad: Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry dismissed a report claiming that the country sold its weapons to Ukraine to secure an emergency bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Responding to media queries on the Intercept story alleging the sale of Pakistani weapons to Ukraine, the spokesperson for the country’s Foreign Ministry said the report was “baseless and fabricated”.
Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, said the IMF Standby Arrangement for Pakistan has been successfully negotiated between Pakistan and the IMF.
“The IMF Standby Arrangement for Pakistan was successfully negotiated between Pakistan and the IMF to implement difficult but essential economic reforms. Giving any other colour to these negotiations is disingenuous,” she added.
The statement noted that Pakistan maintains a policy of staying neutral in the Ukraine and Russia dispute.
“Pakistan maintains a policy of strict neutrality in the dispute between Ukraine and Russia and in that context, does not provide any arms and ammunition to them. Pakistan’s defence exports are always accompanied with strict end-user requirements,” the statement by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry read.
Secret Pakistani arms sales to the United States helped facilitate a controversial bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this year, according to sources aware of the arrangement, The Intercept reported earlier on Monday, adding that Pakistani and American government documents confirm the same.
The Intercept is an online American non-profit news organisation.
The arms sales were made for the purpose of supplying them to the Ukrainian military, the report claimed, adding that it signals Pakistani involvement in the conflict in the face of pressure from the US to take sides.
Further, according to the report, the revelation is a window into the kind of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring between financial and political elites in Pakistan that is rarely exposed to the public.
Further, according to The Intercept, Pakistan is known as a production hub for all types of basic munitions needed for grinding warfare. As Ukraine grappled with chronic shortages of munitions and hardware, the presence of Pakistani-produced shells and other ordinances by the Ukrainian military has surfaced in open-source news reports about the conflict, though neither the US nor the Pakistanis have acknowledged the arrangement, it noted.
A source within Pakistan’s military leaked records detailing the arms transactions earlier this year. The documents describe munition sales agreed between the US and Pakistan from the summer of 2022 to the spring of 2023.
The authentication process was done by matching the signature of an American brigadier general with his signature on publicly available mortgage records in the United States; by matching the Pakistani documents with corresponding American documents; and by reviewing publicly available but previously unreported Pakistani disclosures of arms sales to the US posted by the State Bank of Pakistan.