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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has once again rejected the media reports about the alleged supply of arms to Ukraine, saying Islamabad has neither supplied nor does it intend to supply arms to Kyiv. Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, while responding to media queries, stated that Pakistan has stressed the need for a negotiated solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

“As a matter of policy, Pakistan does not supply arms to a region in conflict. It has not supplied nor does it intend to supply any arms to Ukraine,” the spokesperson said in categorical terms.

She also clarified that this topic, therefore, was not discussed during the telephone conversation between the ministers of defense of Pakistan and Ukraine on 7th November 2023.

Foreign Office refutes report of arms sale to Ukraine

However, following his telephonic call Minister for Defence and Defence Production of Pakistan Lieutenant General (retired) Anwar Ali Hyder, the Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov released a statement on the social media platform X on November 6 in which he thanked Pakistan for its “contribution to Ukraine’s capabilities”.

“Spoke today with Pakistan’s Minister for Defence & Defence Production Lieutenant General Anwar Ali Hyder (Retd). I’m grateful for Pakistan’s contribution to Ukraine’s capabilities. It was a pleasure to discuss areas of mutual interest as we maintain our bilateral relationship,” the Ukrainian Defence Minister said in the statement on November 6.

In September this year, a US-based online media outlet had claimed that “secret Pakistani arms sales to the US helped to facilitate a controversial bailout from the International Monetary Fund earlier this year.”

Although the Foreign Office had rejected the report as baseless, it had also claimed that the arms sales were made for the purpose of supplying the Ukrainian military.

“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,” the Foreign Office spokesperson had stated while rejecting the report as baseless.

“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 defense exports are always accompanied with strict end user requirements,” Baloch had further stated.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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